Occidental Allegro Playa Dorada Reviews – Dominican Republic Hotels – Debbie's Caribbean Travel Resort Reviews – Occidental Allegro Playa Dorada

  Occidental Allegro Playa Dorada   Sharon ~ Canada

May 2009

Arrival: February 2009
For our comfort we paid the extra $30 to pre-book a seat on an exit row on our Skyservice plane. Well worth the price for the extra leg room, however it seems one of our seats was double-booked and had to sit one row behind without the paid for leg room. I have a feeling this must happen fairly often because the Stewardesses offered no apology and weren’t helpful at all in the process of getting our money back for this seat (still has not happened). The flight other than this was uneventful and to be expected.

Once we landed it was a quick walk to outside where the Air Transat podium was to find our bus number. This was a bit of gong show, wany people crowded around, the girl barked out our number so quickly with no direction and when I went back to confirm and get details she freaked out because she had already given us the number. I guess I should be happy that she was so alert that she remembered that she had given the bus number already but I didn’t really like that I was scolded 5 minutes after landing, oh well. The bus ride was extremely short and no information was given but it was a nice ride, again not really helpful other than letting us know who our rep was and when we should show up for our orientation.

As for check-in, I have been to the Dominican twice before so luckily I knew the questions to ask because the front desk staff were not helpful at all. It would have been nice if they could have provided the safe key when we checked in when I requested one, instead they told me to come back.

Rooms:
One word…. horrible, and I’m used to the quality of rooms in the Dominican Republic. I stayed in a 3 plus star a few hotels down in the same area of the DR that put these to shame. We were placed in the wing that is connected to the main building and all I can say is the hallways dark, dank, rundown.. horrible, horrible, horrible. At one time they might have been nice but the long hallway layout just doesn’t work for the Dominican. No sunlight and inadequate lighting makes these hallways dark during the day, not what you want your sunny vacation to be. The room was more than tired with a mouldy smell coming from the closet (I never hung anything in there for fear the smell would latch onto my clothes). No balcony with the room overlooking the pathway onto another building. The bathroom was scary, never cleaned properly and daily something would break or fall apart at a touch of the hand. The bathroom also always had these tiny little bugs on the counter so I ended up putting everything away every day so the bugs wouldn’t get onto them. Us and a number of other guests tried to get moved to a decent room to no avail. I gave up early on because I didn’t want to waste a second of my vacation argueing with people at the front desk. The front desk staff as I said before were useless, not helpful in any way. Once they checked you in you were on your own. Another annoyance was that they only had one room key for guests, good luck to anyone sharing a room and wanting to do something separate. If so look forward to searching the resort for your partner or friend and hope you find them or look forward to being locked outside your room for the whole day. This happened to me one day and luckily the maids let me in, but this could also be a concern for security. I could have probably got let into anyone’s room and helped myself to anything outside the safe.

Restaurants and Bars:
The food in the buffet was good with a decent selection but there was no real service so to speak. The staff didn’t seem overly friendly, maybe they were down because the weather was so rainy the whole week we were there.

Because it rained the whole week we were there only one bar was open, the lobby bar, no pool or beach bar. The service at the lobby bar was the best in the whole resort and because of the rain we ended up spending alot of time here socializing. This whole resort basically shut down at 2am and it would have been nice to have some place to visit with our newly made friends. As it was the disco in the shopping resort was our only option.

The a la carte restaurants were a welcome change from the buffet and I enjoyed all of them with the exception the service. None of the waiters in any of the restaurants stood out with regards to customer service.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Unfortunately for us the whole week we were there was raining and it only cleared up the day that we left. Because of the storm the beach wasn’t cleaned, the water was brown and cloudy and because we were the few die-hards that actually sat on the beach regardless of the lack of sun, we were constantly hounded by the beach vendors for lack of clients. Because of the constant rain we did notice that there is not alot of seating indoors. I don’t think we were able to snag a couch to sit on once, but then it usually doesn’t rain straight for a week so this probably isn’t usually a problem. There are tonnes of plastic tables on the patio to enjoy when it isn’t raining.
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  Occidental Allegro Playa Dorada   Réal ~ Nova Scotia, Canada

May 2009

Arrival: April 13th to April 21st
Pretty plain. At first it seemed like a decent resort and we got a drink at our arrival.

Rooms:
Below average. It is to my understanding that there are renovations coming.

Restaurants and Bars:
No huge complaints if at all really… The food could of been better but I found it tolerable and the chicken’s great. (some spices they use I found)

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
They are more like a 3 star or 3.5 star resort I found but was nice to chill I found.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Dune Buggy and Jeep Safari

Other Comments:
Nothing to do at night. They may do renovations however they need to renovate their nightlife in that resort. You can find a better resort for the daytime also. I dunno how their renovations will pan out…but I’m not going there again unless people tell me the resort did a complete 180 degree turn.

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  Occidental Allegro Playa Dorada   Paulette ~ Halifax, NS, Canada

April 2009 Arrival: August 2008, Jan 2009, March 2009
Most times we arrived late at night and most of the entertainment had finished for the evening. A few times we arrived and the resort disco was going and the last time we arrived early am. Every trip to allegro has been pleasant and well spent. All check in staff are great beginning with Simon the bell boy and finishing with the friendly and fast front desk staff. Rooms
I have always requested building 5 or 6 while staying there and I have always received it. The rooms are cleaned daily and fresh linen and towels always provided. The chamber maids are wonderful adn helpful and greet you with smiles and welcome back hugs. Restaurants and Bars
Yes the food is the same almost everyday but there is a large selection and you will never go hungry. I found all staff to be eager to help and never waited long. But remember you are on Dominican time. Relax and enjoy everything does not have to happen immediately. Beach/Pools/Grounds
The beach is wonderful, clean water when it rains or storms the rivers near by flood adn you get what looks like burnt wood and drift wood coming on beach but they are quick coming down the beacj with a tractor and trailer to clean it up. For those who said they saw feet of garbage being buried shame on you. In the past year I have been there 6 times and the beach is very well kept. Negative people should keep their comments to themselves so they do not ruin a perfect trip for others. Pools and decks are cleaned everyday all chairs are removed and decks are scrubbed with steel brooms as to clean the decks throughly. Grounds are kept very good too. After a rain they are out sweeping the water up and sweeping up anything that falls off the trees. Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
I have done all the tours! Lots to do for everyone. Best advice is to buy from your travel rep on your resort for your safety and not to get ripped off DO NOT BUY FROM THE BEACH SELLERS SELLING EXCURSIONS NOR AT THE PLAZA!!!!! These are not insured for your safety heard many horror stories be safe and book through your reps. Saving $20.00 is not worth it. If you happen to make friends with locals take advantage of their knowledge of the town VERY cheap shopping in city not where tourist go but where locals buy. Other Comments It is an amazing place I personally know the staff and they treat you like gold. Yes there is no bottled water but take $2.00 but a litre bottle of water and refill at teh coolers tons of them around the resort simple and no need to complain. I think it says alot that I have found my home away from home and cant wait till they reopen. On the top of the page it sates tehy are reopening in September not sure where this info came from. But I personally talk to staff there and management on a daily basis and they have all been let go for a period of 6 to 7 months and were told as of May 7th they are finished till approx Nov – Dec hoping to be back open for Xmas grand opening. Please take the time to visit this hotel as it is well worth the trip. Yo will not regret it.

paulettehfx@hotmail.com

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  Occidental Allegro Playa Dorada   JediKnight

March 2009 Good News and Bad News. The Good News is that we have heard that the hotel will be closing in May for a re-fit. The bad news is that it needs it. The rooms are looking tired and the plumbing needs attention. We are members of the Allegro Vacation Club so we were in rooms that were re-furbished last year. However people we met were not pleased with their rooms. The dining experience was another thing. The lofty and noisy dining hall served bland food. The a la carte restaurants were better but not much. We had looked forward to a spicy meal at the Mexican Restaurant but the Chilli Con Carne was without any excitement.The food in the Grill was better but even then wasn’t consistent . The Italian was our favourite. The staff were friendly enough but not over enthusiastic. The waiters didn’t rush to wait, etc.. When the hotel re-opens in September (if it’s completed by then) it should be a star rating higher with better rooms and better service. I do hope so.

We look forward to reading reviews then.

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  Occidental Allegro Playa Dorada   Jose ~ Montreal, Canada

February 2009 Arrival: January 22 to 29 Rooms:
disgusting very poor Restaurants and Bars:
very poor Beach/Pools/Grounds:
pools ok beach very dirty Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
none,yes we did same tours whatelse we would’ve gone crazy Other Comments:
Occidental Playa Dorada complex all inclusive dose not include-{bottle water,fridge mini bar,coffee make in room,clean rooms,shiny clean bathrooms,remote control for tv,first rate friendly staff} but it includes-{leaky ceilings in the hallways,bleach odor in the rooms,leaky faucets in bathroom,lot’s of noise all nigth long on the corredores,lizards on the ceilings and walls,and very dirty beach,not to talk about the repeted food. It was anything but clean – our first impression upon going upstairs to our rooms on the second floor was water dripping from the ceilings of the hallways, outside our door, there were rugs on the floor to soak up the water and yellow danger signs because the tiles were wet. From the hallway we could see through the cracks on the door and there were large gaps at the bottom of the doors. Upon entering we had the overpowering odor of bleach which lasted the whole week, the rooms were sub -standard. Everything was old – the bedcoverings – the telephone which did not work – we called the front desk to have it replaced and it took 2 1/2 days and several calls before before they came to change it – the tv had no remote control and no sound, we had to sign for the remote control at the front desk. There was no fridge or bottled water in the rooms, no complimentary coffee maker in the room, the closets and drawers smelled musty. There was noise in the hallways till 2 – 3 in the morning from people in the resort and others coming in from the disco, there was a brawl up on the third floor, with yelling and screaming and banging of doors. The bathrooms were a totally different matter, the facets on both the sink and bathtub were leaking, I’m not talking drip drip here they were running pretty fast – and it was hot water too. The condition of the tub was all rusty ( I’ve seen better tubs in motels) , the facets were so old they did not have a chrome shine left to them and were set at a slight angle . The toilet took forever to fill up again and made weird noises. There were days when there was no hot water, and still other times when there was no water at all. There were funny noises coming from the faucets in the middle of the night , as the pipes were filling up, and kept us up for several hours each night . The bathroom door was all old and worn away at the corners and floor level . It was a rather disgusting place. The ceilings of the hallways at night were full of little lizards, which was pretty scary for our wifes or anyone whose never seen one before. There were three a la carte restaurants, the service was so poor, the waiters bordered on rude and the food was medicore, so much so that we had to go to the buffet afterwards. As for the buffet itself, we had barbeque chicken three times while were were there, they just called it by different names, everything else was repeated over and over again. The red wine at the buffet and the a la carte restaurants was disgusting, just so watered down there was no wine taste to it. at the buffet he waiters kept there distanst from everyone – they were not very friendly nor were they removing your dirty dishes, there were nights when we were having dessert and the soup bowl and other dishes were still on the table. And now for the beach, it was filthy dirty, not just seaweed, which is understandable but garbage, from plastic cups to bottles of bleach to old sandals. We understand that there had been storm, but most of the garbage had been there for a long time, as we saw that they were covering it up with more sand , we are talking garbage that was at least a foot high, being covered with sand so that newcomers would not see all the garbage underneath it. As for the entertainment it was pretty much medicore and started around 10 every night which would echo down the hallways from both inside and the outside passages. We’ve been to 4 – 4 1/2 star resorts with this company before and were expecting about the same this, but if this resort is considered a four star resort, we’d hate to see what a 2 star resort is like . We would not even rate this place, It was altogether a very unpleasant stay at the resort. We spoke to quite a few people that were also staying at this resort and they too were not in the least impressed with it. We all save quite alot in order to treat ourselves to a nice relaxing peaceful holiday in a nice resort and come back with nice memories, but this place was so unpleasant, a total disappointment. I would never recommend it to anyone I know,
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  Occidental Allegro Playa Dorada   Adrianne ~ New Brunswick, Canada

January 2009 Arrival: January 18 to January 25
Arrival was no problem at all. Decent flight with Canjet. Rooms:
The room looked like it needed an overhawl. They had painted the walls but got paint splashes all over the place. The bathroom was awful… the sink and tub had rust spots, the toilet never flushed properly, and it was so poorly ventilated that we continually had condensation drips from the ceiling onto the floor… enough to have to leave a towel on the floor to soak it up. Restaurants and Bars:
The food was pretty good the first few times but the main restaurant was always serving the same thing… almost every meal. The A la Carte restaurants were tasty but not very fancy. There were a few good dishes though. The bars were okay but not very entertaining, and the bartenders didn’t really know what they were making. You just got what you got and never guaranteed to have the same drink twice in a row. Beach/Pools/Grounds:
The pools were really really cold. The swim up bar was out of the way and needed to be cleaned more often than it was so there were always little leaves, etc floating in it. The "quite pool" was beautiful though and well looked after. The grounds were nice and lots of trees and flowering bushes. Could have used some updates though when it came to furniture and accessories. Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Every night, the entertainment started the same. Same songs, same routines for the children. After the third night, we couldn’t stand it anymore. The show afterward for the adults was more like high school skits, and very disappointing although they were great dancers. The activities during the day were slow and boring, and always the same every other day. Other Comments:
I would not recommend this resort as four star… even by Carribean standards. I’ve been to many other Carribean resorts and had much better rooms & service elsewhere. We still had fun, and it was pretty okay. I would have rathered a better kept resort though. It looked as if it were beautiful when they built it but then didn’t keep very good upkeep. The beach was beautiful but the beach chairs and shade huts were falling apart and worn out.
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  Occidental Allegro Playa Dorada   Leo ~ Halifax

January 2009 Arrival: Jan 11-18 / 09
We flew from Halifax with Canjet.Because of a snow storm we had to use the short runway.As a result we had to leave light on fuel and detour to Quebec city to fuel up. We were an hour late leaving Halifax in total, 3 hours late getting to POP.The seats are small. They do have a movie and headsets are 3 dollars. Rooms:
Our first room was in BLdg #1. The corridors and rooms looked very old, gloomy and rundown. Our room had rust around the tub, and the bathroom ceiling leaked. We asked to change rooms and our new room in Bldg 6 was fine.Much nicer and brighter. Other people also moved from that bldg. I’ve heard they put people there first and if you complain they move you.They then fill it with those who don’t. Restaurants and Bars:
The buffet had the regular fare i’ve seen at many resorts. You can always find something to eat. No bacon the whole week though. We only went to one Al A Carte, the BBQ Grill. The Beef tenderloin with baked potato and veggies was delicious. Others told ne thay loved the Mexican.The snack bar by the quiet pool has godd burgers and fries in the afternoon.Once the Buffet closes at 10pm the only other choice for food is a tray of burgers, or hot dogs, or sandwiches left out in a warmer by the lobby bar. Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Thw beach is nice. Dark sand. Not very rough waves. It’s cleaned daily. The pools are decent. There’s a quiet one and the other by the beach and main lobby where all the activities happen. This pool also has the stage for the nightly shows, as well as a swim up bar.Always lots of lounge chairs. No need to save one with a towel all day. Also lots of tables and chairs around the pool. The lobby bar also is open to this pool, so it the main gathering place. The grounds are buetiful, and are continuly cleaned and groomed by the staff. Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
They have an animation team who do arobics by the pool in the morning and the typical pool games in the afternoon.There’s massage available,pedicures and manicures on the beach.They have a piano player in the lobby each night as well as stage shows.The shows are mostly dancers.The resort is in the Playa Doradaa Complex, so there’s a Plaza five minute walk from the lobby with two levels and about 50 stores or so.It also has a Hemingways Restaurent / Bar, a Pizza Hut, and a Disco thats open till 7AM. Beer is $4.00 US.There’s also an 18 hole golf course right next to the hotel. The Catermarans leave right from the beach at this resort. We did that for $80.00 Us per person. Many people got seasick,so be sure to take gravol or use a patch if you’re prone to motion sickness. Other Comments:
The resort is fine for $700.00 less. It’s clean, very friendly staff. It should probably be a 3 rather than a 4 star. Don’t pay attention to the terrible reviews found elsewhere online. If you get it a a decent price go and have fun. I forgot to mention. The people selling the timeshare for the resort will approach you several times. Just say no and keep walking. It takes them a while to get the message, and the vendors on the beach will come up to your lounger trying to seel there wares. Jaust say no and they move on.
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  Occidental Allegro Playa Dorada   Val ~ Winnipeg

January 2009 Arrival: Jan 4 2009 – January 15, 2009
We arrived 2 hours late, But check in was quick, they had put us on the third floor and we asked to be moved to the first floor, which they did for us. Rooms:
The room was very basic, but it was clean. We always had hot water in the morning but at supper time it was usually just luke warm, so you arranged your shower earlier to have hot water. The maids did a good job cleaning the room, but they never did anything nice with the towels, it didn’t matter whether you left a tip or not. After 3 days of leaving a good tip I didn’t bother anymore. (We have travelled to the Dominican twice before, Jamaica, and Cuba 6 times the maid has always done something nice with the towels all the other places we have been.) Restaurants and Bars:
The bar staff where fantastic!! They remembered what you where driking and took good care of you. We tried all 3 alacart restaurants and they where good, the buffet was all right you could always find something to eat. The snack bar was very good, it had hot French fries, my husband is a picky eater and he never went hungry, he really liked the pizza. Beach/Pools/Grounds:
The beach was gorgeous, the pools where nice, you could always get a chair to lounge on. Our only complaint is the Vacation Club people who won’t leave you alone. The vendors on the beach will move on when you say no thank-you, but when you walk down the beach every resort has there people out there trying to drag you in to look at there Vacaction Club.The resort itself is showing its age but the grounds are kept beautiful.Our biggest complaint with the hotel is there Vacation Club sales people, we paid for a holiday to relax not to be accosted by there Vacation Club sales people every time we walked to a meal or to the pool or to the bar. We where not interested in there Vacation Club and did not appreciate them bothering us, for that reason we will never go back to this resort or to any other resort in the Dominican as they all seem to have people out trying to bring you in. Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
This was our 3rd time to the Dominican so we did not do any tours this time , we took a taxi to Sosua one day to the beach and the Supermarket to buy our Rum and Vanilla it is so much cheaper there. We also went to look at an Italian Restaurant there it was beautiful, I wish we had time to go there for dinner.
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  Occidental Allegro Playa Dorada   

January 2009 I stayed at this resort with my family and had to move after 2 nights. The rooms are in desperate need of renovation. It is not really an all inclusive resort. You can’t eat in the restaurant on the day you arrive because you need a day’s notice. You can only eat in the restaurant 3 times for a 7 night stay. The restaurants fill up quickly, so reservations are not guaranteed. You have to ask for a remote for the TV which has very limited channels. You have to make reservations a day in advance for any water activiites, you have to pay for the pool table, you have to borrow an iron from the front desk and there is an hour limit on it. Water activities are closed on Sunday. There were rules and restrictions on everything. The horseback riding that is included is a half hour sales pitch to go on the $50 3 hour ride. We originally stayed in room 231 which reminded me of a room from spring break in Daytona Beach 30 years ago. The rooms and hallways smelled, the bathtubs were rusty, the phone in the room didn’t work, they used keys in the doors and the doors felt very unsecure. On the positive side, the employees were very accomodating and friendly with the exception of the guy making the dinner reservations. He was very rude, not only to us, but to others. The pool and beach were very nice, but I would never stay at this resort again unless it was remodeled.
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  Occidental Allegro Playa Dorada   Carl

April 2008

I had the pleasure of staying at this resort from march 19th to march 26th, 2008 and have nothing only good things to say about my stay. The food was good but not too much variety. The staff were excellent and couldn’t do enough for us. I will recommend this resort to everyone
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  Occidental Allegro Playa Dorada   Rhoda & Shaye

April 2008 We just arrived home from our holiday at the Allegro Playa Dorada on Mar 17/08. My sister myself and two girlfriends spent a week of fantastic fun!!! After reading some of the reviews I think we were all a little apprehensive but the tickets were purchased and we decided that we would make the most of our holiday regardless of the situation. We were pleasantly surprised, the staff are extremely friendly and accommodating and willing to help us in any way they could!!! The beach was beautiful, you can walk for miles in either direction. To the left were other resorts and it was interesting to walk along them and see the other resorts and talk to the people there to see how they liked their resort. To the right you could just walk along the beach for miles and see the beach as it was prior to the tourists invading it. The food was tastefully prepared and there was a large selection and yes if you try to have some of everything every day, you might be tired of it by the end of the week, but there is plenty to select from. Many times we would fill our plates and then take them out to the deck overlooking the ocean. The ‘ al la carte’s ‘ were wonderful especially the Grill, it was our all time favourite. We were put into building two and although it was clean it did smell rather musty so we requested building five, we were told that we would not be able to move until the next day and to come back at 2 pm, which we did and were then given the room in building 5. Our group all agreed that if you treat them with courtesy and respect they will treat you the same way. I wonder how some of the folks that wrote the crappy reviews treated them ? We would go back to the same place in a heartbeat. IF YOU HAVE PLANNED A TRIP TO THE ALLEGRO IN THE DOMINICAN BE PREPARED TO HAVE A GOOD TIME…..YOU WILL LOVE IT.
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  Occidental Allegro Playa Dorada   Mary

March 2008 I got back january 30th, 2008 from the occidental allegro playa dorada, i went with two of my friends and we loooooved it! The food was great, quite a big selection, every night at the buffet was a diffrent type of cuisine, one night was english, french, dominican, italian…..and so on, the a la carte restaurants were also great, the pizza was made in a wood burning oven and tasted delicious.The only thing is you have to reserve the restaurants as soon as you get there because everybody wnats to try them so they get packed fast! The pools are great and so is the beach but you must get there early to get a beach chair , but it’s like that everywhere. The rooms are clean and it was super easy for us to upgrade to a beachfront room, we slipped the hotel guy 30$US and he changed it for us right away!!! It rained one day for a few hours but it rained really hard, and our room was perfectly fine, our roof didnt leak unlike some of the comments i’ve read, and for that night the outdoor entertainment was brought indoors it was cool because it still gave people something to do even if it was raining! The staff is nice and friendly, i’ve never seen a place where everyone says hello even if they dont know you! The playa dorada mall is a 2 minute walk from the hotel but wait until you go on excursions to buy stuff because you’ll see the same souvenirs but alot cheaper than the mall! The entetainment at the hotel was good but if you’re younger and want more action go to club cocobongo that’s in the resort near the mall and also go to club mangu that’s also in the same area. There are also beach parties at night right next door to our hotel. If you’re into adventure and dont get motion sick or sea sick i strongly suggest paradise island. It costs 80$ per person but totally worth it, the bus ride to punta rucia is about 1 hour and extremely bumpy, but fun. Then there’s the boat ride, it’s a speed boat so dont go there and expect to see a yatch cause it wont happen! We even went to the haitian border, the view was beautiful, one you get to paradise island you get to go snorkeling, i saw some pretty impressive fish, dont forget to bring an underwater camera cause you will regret it if you dont. When we left there we went to a dominican restaurant, it was really cool because it looked like a scene from a survivor lol they anchored the boat and then led us to this awesome dominican outdoor restaurant and we ate as if we never saw food before because it was so good!!! If you really want to do the puerto plata city tour it’s cool but i warn everybody about the stop in Sosua, the view is gorgeous but there are so many vendors and they wont leave you alone, it’s really annoying. I’m planning another trip and probably gonna choose the same hotel. It was great!
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Occidental Allegro Playa Dorada Coleen ~ Massachusetts

June 2007

My husband and I just came back from 8 glorious days at the Occidental Allegro Playa Dorada. I look at past reviews and wonder if we stayed at the same place. Yes, it is not a 5 star hotel, but let’s face it, it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to stay there. Yes, the place is a bit older and the food does get a bit tiring, but give me a break. If you are looking for the Taj Mahal, don’t stay here. If you are looking for a clean hotel with a beautiful beach and wonderful people working there, this is the place for you.

Our first day we were put in Building #1. This was not to my liking, especially when I saw the mold and smelled the chlorine bleach. I cannot be close to bleach as it causes asthma attacks in me. We spoke with Frederick who was able to get us changed to Building 5. The rooms were clean and the maids were friendly and hard working. If you have any problems or questions, be sure to see Frederick, he was great.

The grounds are kept spotless by the hard working grounds people. Yes, the beach does get somewhat dirty, there was seaweed all over the place while we were there, but ALL OVER THE PLACE, including all the other resorts. It was raked and the seaweed picked up daily by a truck crew. The only dirt/mess we saw other than this was man-made, i.e, cigarette butts, straws, etc. Unless your mother is there picking up after you, the mess will still be there until the crew gets to it. Come on people, do you leave this stuff in your own yard?

The food was ok. Lunch was a bit boring as we do not go inside to the buffet because we are in swimsuits. 2 days the lunch buffet was outside and in the Italian Restaurant. We wondered why they don’t do that every day. Other than that we ate at the snack bar and found it to be a bit dull, overcooked hamburgers, rice and pasta, same thing every day. Breakfast was great, so much variety, especially the hot sweet cereal with milk, yum. Dinner, we went to the Mexican and the Grill and had great meals there. The evening buffet is ok, but I am not really a great fan of buffet dinners. We did the optional lobster dinner on the beach and we were the only ones there! Very nice and romantic to eat on the beach with 2 waiters taking care of only you!

If I was to find fault with this place, besides the lunches, it would be the amount of vendors on the beach. They become a bit tiresome and I am going to be hearing “I’ve got the monkey….monkey..” for the next year. The timeshare people in the lobby were a pain, we found ourselves avoiding Roody and didn’t feel we should have to do that. We walked to the plaza a few times and the taxi drivers and jinty drivers became a bit much, but not nearly as bad as the beach vendors. If you even acknowledge them you become a magnet for another 5 vendors. I know they have a job to do, but it becomes obnoxious after a while.

The beach was beautiful and we found ourselves walking beyond the Iberostar a few times. We had gone here last year and could not believe the changes in the beach itself. Where you couldn’t walk last year, you could now walk (near the Paradissus). Where walking was easy last year there is now a river going into the water, very strange.

All and all, a great vacation and would not hesitate to go there again.

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Occidental Allegro Playa Dorada Evelyn

June 2007

I made my reservations by phone with Occidental on January 20, 2007. I reserved two adjoining rooms: Reservation #XXXXXXXX was for non-smoking, king-size bed, one rollaway and one crib in Building #6 and Reservation #XXXXXXXX was for non-smoking with two double beds in Building #6. I also put in a request for a refrigerator.

Once we arrived at the airport, we traveled by a barely air conditioned bus that needed an attachment on the back of it to hold our luggage. This attachment was filthy and completely stained my new luggage set.

At about 1:15 p.m. we arrived at the front desk, only to wait about 20 minutes before anyone could attend to us. At that time, we were rudely told to go eat and come back after 3:00 p.m. as our rooms were not ready. This was already an inconvenience as we were traveling with another family and had a total of 8 children who were hot, tired and unhappy.

We returned after lunch, and waited another 20 minutes or so. Your front desk staff was not knowledgeable about our reservations at all. They had our names on a list, but kept asking for a print out of our vouchers. This was confusing to me since I made our reservations through Occidental directly and did not see a need to provide additional backup information. Occidental had already charged received a payment from me in full.

At about 5:30 p.m. we were finally issued room keys. The rooms were not adjoining, they were not in Building #6 and when we walked into the rooms after taking our own luggage up the stairs because the porter was not available, I could not believe what I saw. First, there was the stench (musty mixed with cigarettes), two beds were pushed together with a space in between (we were never informed that king size beds do not exist at the resort although our reservation clearly states we would have one), the comforters smelled and were washed out and worn, the sheets underneath could not have been sanitary.

I then returned to the front desk (with our own luggage again) to ask that I be given the rooms that my reservation called for. The front desk attendant claimed that was all she had. We then asked for the manager, Mr. Mendoza. After much negotiation, we were told that we could have two rooms in Building 5, but that they would not be adjoining (no adjoining rooms exist!). My teenage daughters were put two floors above us at the end of a very dark hallway in Room 5301. My husband and I were put in Room 5111. This was the best, we were told, Mr. Mendoza, could do at that time.

Once again, the smell of the comforters and the sheets underneath were disgusting. The linens had all sorts of unrecognizable stains on them. I had to purchase towels at the gift shop as I would not allow my 1 year old and 3 year old to put their faces on those linens.

When I approached one of your front desk employees for two bottles of milk for my girls, I was instructed to go buy powdered milk. It was late, the resort stores were closed and I had to “tip” one of your kitchen employees in order to get milk for our bottles. Your juice, was some type of powdered juice, that left a film on their tongues. I spent a lot of money at your gift shop on apple juice. The safe deposit box, for our use, required a $30 fee for the lock! So much, for all-inclusive.

The following day we figured we would make the best of it and use the facilities. It seems that it is acceptable hotel policy for guests to place towels on the lounge chairs between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. although they have no intention of using these chairs until 3 p.m. or later. After breakfast at about 9:30 a.m., there are about 4 people in the pool about 8 lounging and EVERY single lounge chair was being accounted for. I was extremely upset by this and asked one of your employees how this could be. I went by the pool to spend time with my children and could not use your facilities because of this unwritten rule. Later that morning, after much ranting and raving, I was able to get an employee to get me a broken lounge chair from another area, just so I would have a place to sit and keep my things while watching my girls in the pool.

It did not initially occur to me that there was no smell of chlorine in the pool. After 2-3 days of using the pool, we noticed more and more dirt. The edges were not cleaned at the walk-in pool and it was starting to get some type of mold at the edges plus the edge of the platform was slippery from all the suntan lotion. You could barely walk on it. At that time, many of the locals were checking in and the water was getting more disgusting. The kiddie pool was just a stale pool of cloudy, stagnant water. I would not put my girls in there. There was no way this water was sanitary. By the weekend, several of our family members had rashes which we are still treating with cortisone!

We also attempted to use the beach. The sand was full of cigarette butts and other miscellaneous junk. It was disgusting. I could not let my girls play in the sand. We were also not informed that this was a nude beach. That also cut our trip to the beach very short. When I tried to get fresh pool towels, we were told that guests are only allowed ONE CLEAN towel a day. Once again, hygiene is not a factor at the resort.

Our daughters’ room, 5301, then experienced a break in its toilet. The handle fell off and water started coming out of it (along with miscellaneous items). It took an hour before someone came to fix it. In the meantime, this sewage was all over the room and on some of their things. It was almost three hours before housekeeping was sent to clean it up. This is inexcusable. Suffice it to say, we requested another room switch.

Our girls were put into Room 5112 across from us. Unfortunately, the hallway had a stench of raw sewage. When the girls went into their room, you guessed it, it was their room that had the stench. It seems that the previous tenant must have had a similar issue and used the comforter to stop the water. They must have then put it to dry and put it back on the bed before they checked out. Housekeeping had to come in and change ALL the linens in the hopes of removing the smell.

In the meantime, we tried to enjoy the entertainment. Although it seemed like a high school talent show, we would sit out with our other family members and try to enjoy the show. Our children would watch the kids club at 8:30 p.m., and then we would all watch the 9:30 p.m. main show. We noticed there were a lot of sexual references during the activities during the day and tried to ignore that, but for the comedy night it could not be ignored. As part of a skit, three male staff members were on stage with inflated balloons in front of their penises following another staff member around and at one point one of the male staff member acts as if the excitement is too much for him and squeezes the balloon to the point of “climax” and squirts liquid all over the stage. At this point, we removed our girls from the entertainment area. I do not know how this can be considered acceptable family entertainment. It was disgusting and inappropriate.

We also had real concerns about your “internet café” staff and a webcam that they consistently pointed at the young girls and women when they went to use the computers or were in the café vicinity. At the computer center, which holds four computers in a square on one desk, there is a light piece of material under the table by the “crotch” of whoever is sitting in the chair. Our concern was that anyone sitting would be taped or photographed. After noticing this, we were not allowing our girls to sit at the center in skirts.

It would be an understatement to say that I was displeased…my family and I were DISGUSTED. We even tried to change our flight but they were all overbooked and we could not be accommodated.

This level of service and sanitary conditions is completely unacceptable.

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Occidental Allegro Playa Dorada Mark & Ornella ~ Brampton

March 2007

We just arrived home from Occidental Allegro Playa Dorado. We had a very good trip. This hotel was rated as a 4 star but it really should be rated at 3 stars. Don’t let that scare you off. It’s fine. Check in took about 5 minutes. We were quickly taken to our room. We stayed in building 3 on the third floor over looking the ocean (towel shed). Our room had a king size bed. The room was comfortable. It was very clean and well air-conditioned. The beach is clean and great for long walks. I personally prefer the beaches in Punta Cana. The sand is whiter and the water is clearer. The hotel itself in general is old and could use some remodeling but over all we were very happy. The staff is friendly, the food was very good. We had a different theme each lunch and dinner. I strongly suggest making reservations for the restaurants as soon as you check in. They fill up. Try all of them. They were all very good (Mexican, the grill & Italian). If you’re a wine lover you may be disappointed with the free wine available. In my opinion it wasn’t dry enough. The beer and local drinks are plentiful. The ice and bar water is safe to drink. Don’t drink any water from any tap. It’s only for bathing. If you’re going to book any excursions and you want to save some money look for the venders on the beach. You’ll save about 30-50% as compared to booking through the hotel. The hotel entertainment was lacking in my opinion. I’ve seem better. What ever you do, don’t loose your towel. You will be charged $30 US for each towel. We left our towels on our chairs one morning while we had breakfast and they were gone when we returned. I think the hotel staff took them because it started to rain. One of the hotel staff gave us 2 new towels at no charge. I would suggest holding on to the towels at all times.

Over all I would recommend this resort if you’re looking for a cheap holiday with good food and comfortable accommodations. If you’re looking for flash, keeping looking.

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Occidental Allegro Playa Dorada Nicole and Rick

March 2007

We stayed at this resort the week beginning February 2, 2007. We booked last minute through Air Transat and we got a really good deal. Myself, my sister and our husbands were taking our belated honeymoon. As our flight was delayed 14 hours, we were very anxious to get to the resort.

Check-in – after being delayed for so long and arriving at the resort at 7:30 a.m., which most of our plane went to this resort, the line up was over an hour wait. They only had one person working for the first half hour, but we just took turns touring the hotel.

Staff – the staff is excellent here! Now, we do tip often and that makes a big difference. We had service wherever we were. They took the time to know our names and helped us out as much as they could. We definitely miss them – Coca-cola, Teddy, Sexy Joe etc.

Room – we read a lot of reviews on this site and just said that we would make the most of it. We requested building 6 – which we did get – room 6304. It was an absolutely gorgeous room – exactly like the picture in the travel books. Hot water was not always there during the busier times during the day. Early and late in the evening it was always hot. We overlooked the quiet pool, which was also nice. We met a lot of people on our plane and I must say that the older buildings are like being in a different hotel. I couldn’t believe it.

Food – I am definitely a picky eater but there was always something there that was more American food. At the buffet, they had a different theme each night. There are 3 a-la-cartes, we didn’t book Mexican just because our stomachs couldn’t handle that. The Italian was excellent. The Grill was not so good for us – we barely ate anything. We did find out that the menu for The Grill includes a lot more – you just have to ask the waiter. I read a lot of reviews that said that there was no variety in food at this resort, but I would say they are wrong. Yes, they do repeat a lot of the basic foods, but every night there was something different. The buffet is very busy and yes, sometimes they do run out of silverware and cups – but if you have the patience to wait a few minutes, they’ll bring one right to you. There is service, but don’t be shy to tip. Also, the drinks are very strong there. If you are younger, they’ll give you the 151 Rum. Just so that you get drunk faster. Carlos has one of the best drinks – ask for Carlos Special. You’ll love it. Don’t be shy to tell them to just put a little bit of alcohol – that would be equivalent to 1.5 ounces of alcohol.

Kids Club – Now we didn’t bring our children on this trip but we definitely paid attention to the Kids Club. The main girl, I feel so bad that I don’t remember her name, is amazing with the children. I read one review that said they were not good at all. The kids did a dance every night before the shows and played some games. Even when she wasn’t watching the kids during the day, the kids would go up to her and she didn’t mind at all. The kids really took to her. I would definitely bring my little ones here.

Pool – The quiet pool is exactly that – good to lay in the sun, read a book, and the families with younger children go to this pool. The “loud” pool was active most of the day. I don’t believe they have chlorine in the pools, but they do clean it every night. I didn’t like the fact that the pools closed early. As an adult, you should be able to swim when you want, at your own risk.

Beach – The beach was a little scary at first with all the huts taken as we burn easily. We didn’t realize that all the towels on the lounge chairs were actually belonged to the workers until the middle of our trip. Tip them – and that spot is yours to keep for the week. You do get harassed a little bit on the beach with people selling you things but they do take “no gracias”. We walked all the time down the beach. It was such a beautiful walk and the beach was much nicer to swim in around the bend.

Entertainment/Activities – We loved the entertainment at night. It all depends on the mixture of people you have at the resort. I’m very shy but for some odd reason – I always got pulled up. It was a blast! We met a several couples and we would all meet up every night. Our waitress was amazing. We didn’t have to wait at all for a drink – mind you, we tipped and that makes a big difference. I know I am repeating the fact to tip while on this resort but I’m only doing that because it makes a difference.

Quick Tips – the information session – does have useful information – especially for women. The mall is only a 5 minute walk, don’t worry about taking a cab – the one sports store on the top floor has the best deals. Bathing suits, jeans, shoes, shorts, etc. Internet is a lot cheaper in the mall as well. Stop at the henna tattoo spot for that. The cigars are a lot cheaper there as well.

Excursions – we only did the Sosua Tour – it was nice to see the town but they harass you everywhere. And I mean the same people. They’re begging for food but they’re beating you to your next destination. The lunch was very good – Italian. The fort was beautiful – enjoyed that. I also enjoyed seeing the Upper, Middle and Lower classed. We stopped and gave out candy, pencils, paper etc to the lower class. It broke our hearts to see dozens of people running from blocks. There was one mother who was a little aggressive but I guess she just wanted to make sure all of her children got something. Sosua was the best. We shopped the whole time. Definitely barder with everything. If you speak French it helps as well – most of the workers are from Haiti. I wish we would’ve had more time so that we could’ve enjoyed the beach as well.

I loved this resort and we had a blast, especially for the price we paid. You’re there to relax and enjoy yourselves, so enjoy. The only reason why this hotel is not a 5* is because they need to upgrade the older buildings. Besides that, squeaky clean, excellent staff, great entertainment, and good food. I

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Occidental Allegro Playa Dorada Gaitree ~ Canada

March 2007

We just came back for Allegro Playa Dorada Mar 10, 2007 we were their for a week… We read the review and still decided to go and see for our self:

Our check-in were okay, our room was in building 5 which were clean and somewhat nice but defiantly not a four star. They were no converter for the TV, you had to walk to the lobby for a drink of water… In the buffet no one serve you drinks/water, you had to line for it, sometimes they were no glasses… The main washroom was horrible, customer service was very poor….

We booked a triple occupancy and only got two 3/4 beds, we then ask the Air Transat guide for another bed and he said that we have to deal with what we have, they don’t have any extra beds. We try to put them together but a few hours sleeping the move apart so who ever slept in the middle would either fall off or slept with one of the other person. The week was very unpleasant sleeping…. try to imagine three adult sleeping on those little beds…..

The entertainment was so boring my 3 year old could do a better job, one night out of the seven nights were okay not even good, however, the food was good…. If you travelling with kids I don’t recommend this Resort, lack of snacks and things to keep them busy……

Our main concern is that this Resort is advertise as a 4* I don’t know how because it certainly isn’t , we have been to many other 4* Resort and they are no comparison this Resort need to reclass to a 2*……..

We have much more complains but I guess I should stop now……

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Occidental Allegro Playa Dorada Patricia

March 2007

We stayed at the Allegro Playa Dorada resort in Puerto Plata, March 18-25, 2007 – This Resort is definitely a 2 Star, if you push it maybe a 3 star, no where near a 4star like it says in the travel book or when you talk to a Transat Rep…..

I am sorry to say that our vacation at the Allegro Playa Dorada resort in Puerto Plata was a disappointment. The resort and service at the Allegro Playa Dorada could not be compared to other four star resorts we have stayed at and was more of a three star resort. Even Occidental Staff indicated this was a three star resort. The wrist bands we recd at the resort also showed three stars. We would never have considered a three star resort and would have looked at alternatives had we known. The design of building five made the hallways feel cavernous you could clearly hear sounds made by housekeeping carts and all other guests as they entered their rooms regardless of how late at night this was. The balcony faced a street that was quite busy with traffic noise starting very early in the morning. Although I am not sure where it originated from there was a leak in the bathroom which flowed into the bedroom area of the unit whenever anybody took a shower. We did not even have a clock in the room. The television had no remote control. The unit door had no deadbolt. We were given only one key per room. On one occasion I had left a telephone message for my parents. The staff could not tell my parents what the flashing phone was or how to make it stop flashing. The air conditioning unit in the room was very loud. Meals – not a lot of variety, fruits were limited, there were ants seen in bread and cutlery areas. On the evening roast beef was being served I was given a piece of grizzle at least 95% fat and not edible. One evening at dinner there were no tables for six empty, I had asked staff to put two smaller tables together to accommodate the whole family, I was told to wait until a larger table became available. Had to line up for water, coffee, juice etc., at other four star resorts I have always had staff at least serve water, juice, coffee at the table. On one occasion the glass station was empty and we had to wait for glasses. On two occasions there was controversy in the dining area as staff had reserved tables for certain guests, I do not think that reserving tables was an option for everyone. On the positive side, staff did clear tables quickly. Time Share Overtures relentless – We could not wander anywhere in the resort or beach without being bombarded by Hotel staff inviting us to an information meeting regarding time sharing opportunities, it was the only time staff appeared to be interested or friendly. One afternoon I attempted to purchase an American Newspaper from one of the tuck shops at the resort. Unfortunately they only had papers from the day before. I asked the lady working if they were getting today’s paper her response was I don’t know, I then asked her when they normally have newspapers delivered, again she answered I don’t know. This was only one example of the general indifference we received from staff.

After dinner guest entertainment – The entertainment appeared to be unorganized and amateurish at best. I would categorize the actions of some of the male entertainers as inappropriate, cheap and cheesy. On one evening the entertainment was moved indoors because of the threat of rain with the regularly scheduled entertainment cancelled and replaced by Karaoke, we were not told this before we sat waiting for an hour for the scheduled entertainment to begin.

Would never return to this resort.

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Occidental Allegro Playa Dorada Jodi and Chris

March 2007

We spent a one week vacation at this resort in mid-February 2007. Our flight was with WestJet and our tour provider was Transat Holidays, booked through ITravel2000 1 and a half weeks before departure.

Resort: Overall impression was very good. Resort was a little older than we expected and some of the activity areas were looking a bit on the “tired” side. However, there were work crews constantly painting and working on keeping the resort up to date. The grounds crew were great at keeping everything looking neat and tidy. No garbage laying around here or leaves or anything else! The beach was clean, though there were some issues with sand fleas off and on but that can happen anywhere. Pools were clean and well kept, the phenomenon of claiming beach and/or pool chairs at 7 in the morning and then only sitting on them for 2 hours kind of baffled us, and we witnessed some “chair rage”.

Rooms: Very clean and well kept. Basic in amenities, we lacked remote for the TV but probably could have requested from front desk (We’re on holidays, not there to watch TV!) We found the rooms to be very quiet, some hall noise but that was minimal. Beds were smallish, but comfortable enough for a week. Air Conditioner worked well, but couldn’t quite take all the dampness out of the air. Very pleasing overall, décor simple, and as mentioned kept very clean.

Staff: For the most part very helpful and fluent in a number of languages. Restaurant staff worked very hard and were often stressed, but typically would manage a smile and warm greeting. Bartenders always seemed to be having a good time, especially in the lobby bar, and service always improved with tips.

Food: We found it all to be very good. We heard grumblings from some that it wasn’t like the food at home. No Kidding!! Guess what? You are not at home! If you want the food to be like Canadian food then you better stay at home. The buffet restaurant tried to vary the menu as much as they could with a few staples, even at breakfast. Food was well cooked and a good variety of dishes as well as theme nights. A la Carte restaurants were a nice change of pace and we had no complaints with any of the 3 (Grill, Mexican, and Italian) Service was a little slow at the a la cartes, but that could be solved by more staff or leaving wine/water on the table for patrons to pour their own. But, we are on holidays aren’t we? So why rush? We tried many different dishes over the week, and there were of course some we didn’t enjoy, but that is the beauty of all-inclusive vacations, its already paid for. The night we had lobster other guests showed their bad side and became overly pushy and rude in getting their food…relax people you’re on vacation!!

Playa Dorada complex: A nice area, mall/shopping area was bigger than expected and some stores even air conditioned! We didn’t get a chance to get out to the discos/clubs at night so we can’t comment on them. (although the resort entertainment was enjoyable) Walking around complex was a good hike and people were friendly, it was annoying to be pestered by horse and carriage guys every time you were out though.

Tours: We did 3 major tours while we were there, plus the horseback riding offered by the resort.

Puerto Plata/Sosua all day trip, first half of the day was the city tour, historical sites and the like. Amber museum was interesting, as was the history of the city. Brugal rum factory unbelievable. Too much shopping overall for our liking (ie: too many commissions that had to be covered off and prices were cheaper elsewhere) Sosua was a lovely beach, many beach vendors where your power of saying “no” must be very strong. Lunch was good, buffet style at a local (but tour company owned) restaurant. Our guide and driver were both good and very helpful. All in all a very good day for just $36 USD.

Paradise Island: An interesting spot in the middle of the ocean, but the 3 hour bus ride to get there was not worth it. We had pictured perhaps 30-40 people when there were closer to 150 people on this tiny speck of sand. Not exactly what I would call Paradise. Snorkelling was very good however, nice reef and fish, but 2 hours of time to do so was way more than enough as the part you could snorkel in wasn’t very big. Lunch was good and the guides/drivers friendly and helpful. A very long 10 hour day, 6 of which you were on a bus, not really worth the $85.

Ocean World We had a great time here. We did do the swim with dolphins encounter, but both said that we would come back at some time and just pay the general admission and could fill a full day with all the things to see and do. If you come from Ontario and know Marineland in Niagara Falls, this place has it beat no question. (even if they don’t have whales). Buffet lunch was 12 USD so not a bad deal, and lots of selection, drinks were expensive, but always are at places like this, no issues with bringing your own water etc… Free lockers provided were very convenient, and showers in change rooms were welcome after swimming in dolphin water or snorkeling. They even had an extra set of lockers at the snorkel area in order to put your shoes, T-shirts etc…Prices in gift shop weren’t too bad, and even though souvenir pics a little expensive they were good and well organized. There is also a casino here that we didn’t visit and due to time didn’t get to take in all the shows, but definitely a fun day.

Overall we had a very good trip to the Puerto Plata area and the Occidental Allegro Playa Dorada. Some minor issues, but all of our needs were taken care of and we’d have no problem recommending to others that this would be a good place to stay.

One final note, if you are able to, get your hepatitis A & B shots before you go. Neither of us were able to squeeze them in as this was a last minute vacation, but my fiancé did end up with a nasty bout of Hep A which we found out on our return. We didn’t eat/drink a lot of different things but he still ended up with it. Save yourself the trouble and the antibiotics if you can!

Enjoy the Dominican soon

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Occidental Allegro Playa Dorada Paul & Sylvie ~ Toronto, Ontario

March 2007

Check-in
We stayed at the Occidental Allegro Playa Dorada Hotel from Feb. 18-25/07. After reading some of the reviews I was a little nervous and stopped reading them and decided to go with an open mind. We got through Customs very quickly and found our hotel shuttle bus shortly thereafter but waited quite a long time for the other passengers to clear Customs. When we arrived at the hotel, it was quite late as the flight leaving Toronto was delayed and check-in was extremely slow – there was only one person at the desk! No information about anything was given to us as well as no welcome committee or tour reps present – very impersonal.

Room
We booked last minute and requested a room in block 5 or 6 as we were told they are the nicer rooms and our request was granted! We had no issues with the room which was located on the ground floor facing the quieter pool (#6108) – always hot water, good pressure, comfy beds, extra pillows and electricity although many guests did have problems with their rooms such as water leaking and no electricity but not us! We had no remote control for the TV which is fine for the most part but I like to watch the news or something before going to bed – we must have gone to reception at least 5 times to request a remote and we were told to return each time as they did not have one – we finally got one from our neighbours who had 2 – maybe the extra one was the one from our room! We rented the safe in our room for $20 US and were given a key – make sure you do not keep your safe and room key attached together! There is no fridge in the room but they give you ice buckets – buy one bottle of bottled water and refill it through the week from the water cooler or water dispensers at the snack bar.

Food
We booked the À La Carte dinners the following morning in the front lobby which was a very slow and laborious process. The Mexican was very good … The service at the Grill was terrible and very slow but others had a good experience … The Italian was also very good. We always enjoyed going for breakfast at the buffet – good variety of food and the fruit is so sweet and delicious. Have the breakfast smoothies – yummy! We dined at the buffet once and it was ok – they had fresh lobster when we went but our favourite was the Pizzeria located to the left of the swim-up bar overlooking the ocean – awesome view and awesome pizza! No reservations required, linen tablecloths and it opens at 6:30 PM. A lot of people don’t know about the Pizzeria because it is not really advertised – this was by far our favourite. The snack bar located in the quieter pool area has great French fries, hamburgers, hot dogs, nachos and a daily variety of pasta. I had no issues with the food at the resort.

Pool
The quiet pool was nice and clean and the water temperature perfect … they played music intermittently which was too bad – it kept cutting out. We had to mark our territory pretty early because by 9:30 am all the lounge chairs are gone! Some people kept their towels on lounge chairs throughout the evening to “hold” their spot which is not really fair for everyone.

Staff / Service
The staff is very friendly – always smiling with a big "HOLA". The hotel is very clean and well maintained. The grounds are beautiful but there are no lights lit at night along the walkways which are so pretty – the fixtures are there but they don’t turn them on like their sister hotel down the beach does. There is a lack of service as well as quality of service. Having stayed at other resorts, I was surprised there was no coffee served – you get your own which is not the end of the world. I tried at least 5 different times to exchange our towels and either there were no towels to be had or it was closed. They do not bend over backwards to assist you – possibly because they are short-staffed.

Entertainment / Activities
They put on some very good shows and try very hard. The fun team was never really around our pool and not sure what kind of daily activities were taking place as we did not see postings. We created our own fun and borrowed a ball from them to have a wicked game of water polo!

Excursions
We went on two excursions … 1) Sosua / Puerto Plata city tour – the best part was Sosua which was not until the afternoon portion of the trip. Be aware the vendors are very aggressive. My best part was having oysters on the beach shucked and served to me … 2) Puerto Plata Runners – AMAZING! I would highly recommend this day trip to anyone … we were about a group of 20 people in a big truck that takes you into the countryside and mountains … you see how the people live … visit a school sponsored by the Runners so make sure to bring school supplies and leave candy at the school – if you start handing out to the kids on the road, you will be hounded. We then visited a house in the countryside also sponsored byt the Runenrs … went boogie boarding in the ocean and was at the most pristine beach … drove past almond, cashew, paprika and avocado trees … wonderful fajita lunch followed by horseback riding on another gorgeous beach … very bumpy ride but what a blast! This one is a must! Our tour guide Giovanni and driver Fabio made it so memorable … beer and rum served throughout the day …. Fantastic!!

All in all – it was a good vacation at a good value. We met some great people – our adopted kids we called them! I would go back to the Dominican Republic but would more then likely go to another resort.

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Occidental Allegro Playa Dorada Brenda ~ Ontario

February 2007

We stayed at the Occidental Allegra Playa Dorada Hotel from Feb. 18-25/07. We went with another couple. After reading some of the reviews I was pretty sceptical about staying at this resort. We found our hotel shuttle bus immediately after arriving in Puerta Plata. We were checked in very prompty by friendly staff upon arriving at the hotel. We were assigned two rooms in Building 6, on the second floor. We were very pleased with our rooms. The view was very nice, overlooking the golf course. We had no remote control for the tv, but could care less. We were not there to watch tv. (you could rent a remote from the front desk if you wanted one) We did rent the safe in our room ( between the two couples) to put our wallets and passports in. The other couple went to the information meeting with the travel agent.. and got lots of very useful information. We booked the A La Carte dinners after checking in. (You make reservations at the desk in the front lobby). We went to the Italian A La Carte Restaurant on Valentines Day. None of us liked the food at the Italian restaurant. The sevice was very slow, and the food was tasteless. We skipped the Mexican A La Carte the following night as we heard it was not much better. We did go to the Grill A La Carte on the 16th, it was okay, definetly much better than the Italian. There was always plenty to choose from at the Buffet. Not wonderful food, but okay. The salads and fruits were always good though. There was a snack bar/bar by one of the pools. They had good fries at this bar, as well as fruits, hamburgers, hotdogs..a nice break from the buffet. There was also a very good pizza restaurant by the other pool facing the ocean. The staff was very friendly, always smiling with a big "HOLA".. The hotel was very clean. The grounds were immaculate. The beach was cleaned constantly. It must be hard for the staff to keep on top of things, as the ‘tourists’ left their glasses everywhere on the beach and tossed their cigarette butts everywhere, no fault of the staff. The vendors on the beach were no problem, you could either ignore them, or say no. (they did no persist if you said NO) If you did talk to them , they were very friendly and loved to answer any questions you might ask them. There are shopping ‘huts’ about a 20 minute walk down the beach, a nice walk and a good place to compare prices. There is a shopping plaza as well , it is about a 5 minute down the road. There is also a Pizza Hut and a Hemingways in the plaza if you want a nice break from the buffet or A La Cartes. We went to Hemingways on our last night there and had a great time. We went on two excursions, the Catamaran and the Puerta Plata Runner. They were both fantastic. The other couple went on the trip to Paradise Island as well and loved it. There were tons of activities on the beach, as well as around the hotel. All in all, the hotel was great, the staff was great, the food was "okay" (but we didn’t go for the food) The weather was fantastic, the excursions were lots of fun. We all had a fantastic time and would return to this resort anyday. Happy to have gotten away,..

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Occidental Allegro Playa Dorada Freida

February 2007

My husband & I, 2 sons aged 22 and 20, and my son’s girlfriend stayed from Feb. 18-25/07. This hotel is old and needs a huge overhaul. The rooms have old worn bedspreads and pillows which smell. There is no bottled water provided and you must purchase a bottle and refill it from the 1 and only water cooler in the building, which was usually empty. The food was bearable – not great. The beach was okay, but I live near the beach on one of the Great Lakes, and our beach is much better and cleaner. Our check-in was very impersonal and we received no info on the horseback riding or the a la cartes. We had no remote for the television. The tiles in the bathroom were chipped and missing, and there was lots of mildew. However, here is our biggest concern…

We were assigned 2 rooms in Building 5 on the ground floor facing the road.

On our last night there, our son and his girlfriend’s room was broken into, apparently through the sliding glass doors (you could see muddy handprints where they had been pried). We had all been in the lobby when our son returned to his room and found that the chain lock was on. He knew it was impossible for it to be locked from the inside as we were all outside.

Security and maintenance came to remove the chain and it was then we realized their room had been ransacked and their money and IPods stolen as well as some clothing. Security and Guest services did nothing – they intimated that it might have been someone in our "party" – they treated us like the criminal not the victim – "you can’t prove anything" and "You can’t prove you had any of the items you say were stolen". In fact, they never even asked what was missing. We also spoke to another guest and she said she had asked to be let into her room several times because her roommate had the key and they let her in without even asking her who she was! And she said this happened several times over the course of her stay! We will never, ever stay here again. We were disrespected and treated poorly. BEWARE of this hotel – the security is TERRIBLE!!!

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Occidental Allegro Playa Dorada Lee and Peggy ~ Cornwall, PEI Canada

February 2007

This was our second time at Occidental Allegro, Puerto Plata. We flew in by Canjet. The meal they serve on Canjet is very good. We were late arriving, but the bus drive is very short and the staff at Occidental Allegro are very efficient and fast. We were in our room in no time. The first week we were in Building 4 facing the Ocean. The mini gulf is right in front of this building. We had a top floor room with a balcony. It was a nice room. The second week we asked if we could move to building 6 facing the quiet pool. This was where we had our room 4 years ago. (At that time our daughter was married at this resort, and they bent over backwards for her wedding.) The staff was very obliging and even though it was a coincidence, we ended up in the same room we had the first time we were at this resort (Room 6318) on the top floor facing the pool.

We had sunny weather the whole two weeks. We went snorkeling a few times up the beach in front of Gran Ventana Resort. We walked up the beach early every morning.

We did go on two excursions. One was the party boat catamaran. We paid $65 American each. There is a slide on the side of this boat. The excursion is fronm 8:30 to 3:30 in the afternoon. The boat takes you to Sosua to snorkel. We especially enjoyed seeing Sosua fronm the water. There is a canopy on this boat so for those not wanting to get sunburned, this is the one to take. They served a delicious lunch. They entertained the whole way. We definitely got a kick out of Edwin. It was really worth the money.

The second excursion was our trip to Paradise Island. It was suppose to be $65, but since we booked two excursions, we paid $55 each. They picked us up at 7:30 and we never got back until nearly 8 pm. We enjoyed this excursion too. You see alot of country side since it takes the bus 2 1/2 hours to get to the area where we take the boat to Paradise Island. The water is so clear and there are so many kinds of fish. We went through the Mangroves, and before they brought us back to the resort, they took us to a place which fed us a beautiful meal. My husband still talks about how good the meal was

We enjoyed the resort food. They have a good variety so you would find something you would like. The thing that surprised me though was that you had to get your own tea or coffee. I have gotten use to the staff doing this at other resorts we stayed at. The buffet had large windows facing the front of the grounds and quite a few people raced to get the tables by the window. The buffet was a very busy place if you didn’t get there early to eat. At lunch time, you could also eat by the quiet pool. They served hamburgers, fries, and hot dogs there.

There were 3 restaurants. All of them were good. You could book these restaurants once a week. They also had a canopy area outside where they serve pizza each evening without a reservation. The pizzas were very good.

The one thing I did miss were the three Amigos. There were three gentlemen who used to play music and sing to us in the restaurants every evening 4 years ago. They even sang at our daughter’s wedding. They were no longer there, and we really missed them.

The beach is kept clean. My only complaint about the beach is that some guests would go to the beach the night before to reserve their chairs under the huts by laying towels on the chairs . I think the chairs should be removed from the huts each evening to curb this habit. We did go to the beach early each morning to get a chair. One morning we went for a walk down the beach, and I came back to our chair to find that someone stole my Merrill Sandals. I also had a new bathing suit taken from our bedroom. It is possible in this case that the bathing suit may have fallen from the balcony since one other day I saw a bathing suit on the grass from someone else’s balcony.

Like other resorts, we have nightly entertainment, but we were always tired so didn’t see much of the entertainment. Coca Cola was very entertaining and was very good with the children at the resort.

This resort has beautiful grounds. The staff take pride in keeping the grounds up. All in all, I would return to this resort. It was worth the money, and we really enjoyed ourselves there.

If anyone has any questions, you can email us at barnes@islandtelecom.com

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Occidental Allegro Playa Dorada Sean ~ Hamilton Ontario Canada

February 2007

Well we booked this resort on the recommendation of the travel agent, never again is all I can say! We as a family have been to the Dominican 4 times, 3 trips to this area and once to Punta Cana. We stayed at different resorts each time (twice in RIU resorts) twice in non RIU resorts each time in a non RIU we have been let down. With that said we found this resort lacking in several areas.

Check In: This was a disaster, we arranged at home for two rooms to be located on same floor only to get told nope at the resort, some how or travel agent or the hotel lost the request. We arrived on an early flight and got to the resort by noon, yes check in time is 3pm however somebody must have checked out in the morning so you’d figure they’d get the rooms ready it’s not like they didn’t know how many guest would be arriving early. Anyway we where told we have to wait and to come back at 2pm, 2pm came and went and no rooms, 3pm came and went and no rooms, 4pm we got rooms and had to lock horns with the desk staff to get into same building together, we ended up in building 4 one room on 3rd floor 1 room on 1st floor not exactly a good start to a vacation. While waiting for our rooms I got to see some of our fellow Canadians at work at the front desk working over the staff for room changes etc.

Tour Rep: ******** ok can only take the yaba daba doo joke so often before it gets stale. He tried but we didn’t like the jab at our fellow Canadian’s that we complain too much about everything. Maybe we do but we all plunked down good money for a 4 star resort that fell way short of being a 4 star resort.

Food: Sucks would be an under statement, new years dinner was by far the best of the week and it all went down hill from there. Service at the buffet was lacking, what’s up with getting your own coffee! Can’t they provide a pot for each table like other resorts do! This was the only resort I’ve stayed at where you had to get your cup of coffee. The choice of main dishes at the buffet, fish/chicken or fish/pork or fish/chicken Where’s the beef! Oh yes when we finally got to eat at the steak house yep no steak left! But hey the pizza was good!

Bars: One of the better things during the week, at least I could get decent service at the bar. Give away a few baseball hats and service goes way up!

Animation Staff: What did these guys do all week! Rarely seen them! Except at night for the shows!

Beach: ouch sand flees! Infested with them, my wife got several bites as did my in-laws. They hotel didn’t spray for them until the day we left! Those bites stayed itchy for 10 days. Beach vendors, yep mister I got the monkeys came around everyday. Don’t buy a thing from those guys. Remember it’s their job to get you to part with your money! Go to the plaza second floor you can buy all the cheap jewelry & T-shirts you want. Where do you guys think the beach vendors get the stuff from!

Golfing: Hey nice course, but expensive! Way to much for a round, the mandatory caddy even when you take a golf cart! Please! I don’t have a low handy cap, but even I don’t need a guy to tell me yardage & club selection, and as for reading the greens don’t need him to tell which way the break is either. Waste of money!

Overall: This is not a 4 star resort, yes they keep it clean, but it needs a major overhaul. The rooms décor was dated, the beds hard as a rock, closet door was broken, our A/C unit didn’t work & took two days to repair, we had a mysterious water leak in our bathroom that they couldn’t find the source of, very shocking in the middle of the night to walk into a cold puddle of water in the middle of your bathroom floor. On two separate occasions we came back to the room just after the maid had finished to find that we didn’t have any towels! BTW the locals will invade the hotel on the weekend and let’s just say it isn’t pretty! And they think we are pushy!

We will return to the Dominican again, but we’ll stay at a RIU resort for a few bucks more!

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Occidental Allegro Playa Dorada Vic ~ Victoria, B.C. Canada

January 2007

We just got home from Occidental Allegro Playa Dorada in Puerto Plata, and wish to give you an overview of what we think, we were there for one week even though we had booked 2 weeks, we were ever so glad to get home, the so called diningroom was lacking a lot, no service and huge line ups for the grill and coffee, a 4 star resort and no service, the food was very poor even the bread was not fresh, we were very shocked and would definitely not recommend this place if you are looking for good food and some service, the people are very friendly and not sure why the dining is so poor, it would have helped us if we had known this, as we were looking for some service and some great food, at least have our coffee poured, thanks for the opportunity of input , we just want this to be constructive critisicm

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Occidental Allegro Playa Dorada Eliza

January 2007

Background:
My parents are time share owners of Occidental Vacation Club after a successful trip to Playa Grande a little over a year ago. When I found out, I was thrilled until I started to read the bad reviews about the hotel group. I decided to accompany them to Playa Dorada to golf and get away from NYC life but also to quiz the folks at Occidental because they left many questions unanswered despite my repeated attempts to contact them from the States.

Arrival: 5/5
Our flight was uneventful. It was about a 3 hour flight. We landed in Puerta Plata Airport. We paid for a 10 USD traveller’s card and handed it in seconds afterwards to an attendant. One of our golf bags went missing but it was handed over to us through a side door. Because we had asked for a car ahead of time with Playa Dorada, we waited about five minutes before a representative of the club grabbed us a minivan. We only had to tip the driver. Very efficient service overall from landing to boarding our ride.

Ride to Hotel: 5/5
About a 20 minute ride on a well paved road. You get a peak into the lives of the locals. If you have never travelled to a third world country, you may be a little shocked. Lots of sudden stops for roaming cows and horses. Lots of bold maneuvering around slower vehicles. I’ve been to similar countries so I didn’t flinch but I could tell my parents haven’t gotten used to it. Ever take a bus ride in Mexico only to have your driver take a side trip to pick up his relatives? To me, it was amusing.

Arrival at the Hotel: 5/5
Again, since we are club members we were checked in rather quickly as they had a separate check in process for us. We were greeted by a very very tall valet. I think he was at least seven feet tall and very friendly. We arrived about 1 PM and there were very few arrivals in the main line. I doubt they waited more than a few minutes. We checked our golf bags at the valet since we didn’t want to lug them to the second floor. We did get the infamous ocean view room with a nice in your face view of the stage and all the entertainment noise through 11 PM every night. We could’ve switched rooms but perhaps we’re a little more laid back than most. Then again, we golfed or were out of the area every day so we were never bothered much by the noise. You do have to wear a plastic wrist band throughout your stay. We were given the VIP black bands. I noticed none of the salespeople tried to bother us about times shares. For better or for worse, my parents already bought into it.

The Hotel: 3/5
The hotel is large. It was clean but humid. Detergent odors linger as a result. It was a little strong for my nose at first, but I got used to it. What do you expect considering the locale by the beach? It was always breezy so the humidity never bothered me. My skin had a nice healthy baby’s bottom feel by the end of the trip. The grounds are clean. The staffers are very hard working and the "Fun Club" staffers are very nice. They are paid to be that way though. The hotel shop owners are ho-hum but I would be too if I had to sit there all day. Every area is easily accessible. The entire Playa Dorada complex consists of many large hotels. Occidental Playa Dorada is just one. There is also a large plaza for shopping (tobacco, spirits, coffee, etc). It’s a five minute walk. Don’t pay for a taxi. The Playa Dorada gold course is a five minute walk as well, and they wanted to charge us 8 USD. That is worse than the price of NYC taxi ride. We walked with our golf bags on our backs just out of principal. A key to the safe costs 20 USD, no refund.

Excursions: 3/5
Excursions are for sale in the lobby area. We bought a trip to Paradise Island. It is in fact a sand bar with 4 makeshift huts and it took about 2 hours to get there. The speed boat ride was fun and bumpy. We stayed about 2.5 hours on the sand bar which is a plenty of snorkeling time for me. A quick tour to the mangroves then a lunch at a local restaurant. The best food I had on the trip. Rice, beans, chicken, pasta, soda, and spirits. We had another side trip to Santiago for shopping at a tourist stop. It was a long day. It cost us only 60 bucks each but I know that others paid about 80 bucks. Bring sun screen. You will get burnt real quick out there. Alternative: If you are on a budget you can snorkel along the beach near the hotel. If you walk out of the hotel to the beach, hang a left and keep walking for about 5-10 minutes. There is a small reef in front of one of the other hotels. The water’s not as clear but the fishes are the same. And best of all, free. I hear Sosua is also a nice place to snorkel. I didn’t get a chance to go there.

The Room: 2/5
We had 212. Like I said, up close and personal with the entertainment staging area and under the bar. One large bathroom with two sinks. Granite flooring and walls in the bathroom. Tiling everywhere else. The ceiling did leak from the AC’s. We had two AC’s. One was loud the other was fine. We had an eating area and a living room. Two TV’s with cable and remote. We even got the local NYC channel 7 news which was amusing. Free booze dispensers from a wall mounted cabinet (Brugal Rum, Tanq Gin, Stoly Vodka, Johnny White Scotch). A mini fridge (soda, tonic, club soda, water) with microwave and coffee maker. Fresh towels every day. Hair blower and iron with ironing board. There was also a master bedroom. Hard beds and pillows. No doors. Everything was open and airy. We had access to two balconies. Everything went slient about 11 PM. So it never bothered us as we were away from the hotel every day. The children’s hour begins around 8:00 – 8:30 PM. The adult shows begin around 9:00 PM and end at 11 PM. The entertainment then moved onto the beach where there’s open bar too. I never attended any of the after hours events as I was too tired after a round of golf and beach swimming. For those who are avid golfers and have been to Myrtle Beach, think about those older hotels along the water. That’s about the quality you should expect.

Star Rating System: 1/5
A word about the star ratings. After a long conversation with the time share salespeople about the terms of my parents contract (I work at a law firm), I began to understand the bait and switch routine so to speak. This is only my opinion so please take it for what it is. Our time share entitles us to 4 star facilities with no extra charge. Every hotel in the Occidental group in the DR, however, are either being sold off or renovated to 5 star facilities. The nearby Flamenco which is where their sales office is based is considered 5 stars. But I heard that the Flamenco is being sold to another group over the spring/summer season. Time share owners will not be able to use while it is being owned by someone else. No word on whether Occidental will buy it back for the winter season. The star system has nothing to do with the quality of service and facilities to the average vacationer. It’s the Occidental group’s way of grabbing more money from time share owners. The Playa Dorada is currently 4 stars. But it will soon be "upgraded" to 5 stars. This means the time share owner will have to shell out more money for the upgraded hotel stay. The Playa Grande which is where we wanted to stay was sold to a private group because of the amazing golf course (rivals Pebble Beach!) So we couldn’t stay there and had to stay at Playa Dorada. It seems that the hotels you can use with their time share system will always change and eventually, cost more, unless of course you upgrade for only another 7 grand. I discouraged my parents from buying into that again. So I hope that puts things into perspective. I don’t like the fact that these hotels are advertised by a self proclaimed star system. Oh yeah, and by the way, free ride to Flamenco, but you’re going to have to thumb it on the way back. Just a 5 minute walk back but it didn’t leave a good lasting impression.

The Food: 3/5
The café by the other pool (also a quieter area in general) is full of cold leftovers. After a round of golf, I ate their hotdogs and fruit. Sometimes they had rice. The red meat had a strange taste to it but I think it has more to do with the actual animal and not the age or spices they uses. The pizza was always cold. Not exactly great food at the cafe.

The buffet area is better. Breakfast was great. I loved the local coffee. Pasta on the first day was awful. I found though if I mixed the red and white sauce with my choice of pasta with any sauteed or steamed vegatables available, I had a tasty meal. The chicken can be overcooked so I stuck with the dark meat which tended to be more moist. The red meats tasted a little off but not because it was rancid or going old. I still think it has something to do with what they feed the animals or the variety of cows they raise. The seafood nights weren’t great. The fish nights were ok. The fruit was plentiful as well as fresh greens. I never got sick eating anything. We were only able to eat at the Italian restaurant. I didn’t find a difference between what I could conjure up at the buffet and what I got at this place. On top of that, the one hour wait was too much. We skipped the dessert and headed to the buffet for dessert instead. Frankly, it wasn’t great but it wasn’t god awful, so long as you get creative. I stuck with the staples – rice, beans, chicken, pasta and pizza (if it was fresh). I think the key is to get there early when the food is fresh and still hot.

The Plaza Shopping Building: 3/5
The plaza prices are about double compared to a local shop. To put things in perspective though, a bag of Santa Domingo coffee was 100 pesos (31 pesos to the USD). If you travelled outside the compound, it was about 68 pesos. Either price is rather cheap considering you could settle for crappy Dunkin Donuts coffee for 10-12 USD in NY. The cigarettes are not cheap. The liquor prices were on par with NY prices with the exception of their local rum – Brugal. Additionally, they are vendors for excursions like scuba diving, currency exchange kiosks, a pizza hut and a lonely planet café. Swimsuits and other beach items are for sale here to in case you need them.

Playa Dorada Golf: 3/5   The course was well kept considering what they had to deal with all week. Sudden bursts of rain would flood some of the areas. Caddies were knowledgable. I tend to like the quieter ones so I would recommend no. 51 (his name slips my mind). Very friendly and unassuming. Shaved a few strokes off my game indeed. The greens weren’t in great shape but considering the weather, it was expected. If you have some time, I would highly recommend the Playa Grande course about 1.5 hours away. It is like night and day and worth the extra dollars. We weren’t even required to use a caddy (I think they mistook us for someone else). And the course is just gorgeous. Many of the holes are off of high vistas over the ocean.

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Occidental Allegro Playa Dorada Bill ~ Ontario

January 2007

just got back about a week agojan.15 to jan20 from this resort.and after reading all the mixed reviews.i have to say they were about 90% right.yes the food was off and on for quality.always some thing at the buffet that was edible.other nights it was terrific.same with the alacarte.local drinks as advertised.cold,as you like them strong or weak.intertainment was above par here.they but lots of effort into the shows.hotel it self was 4 star.#5 ,#6 blocks very good rooms every thing working as it should.lots of people walking around with casts on their limbs.lots of boooze and rain slicked floors…one fellow opted to jump feet first into the shallow end to snap his ankle.lots of litter on the beach,from the tourists.wonder if these people do that at home? days trips were good affordable,did cable car up mount esabella,day trip to puerta plata/sasoua beach both very good.yes you can get better deals on the beach,but as some folks found out when the catamaran trip was cancelled due to high winds.no money back.in the resort they refunded. loads of night life in the area,short cab.or a walk,the whole complex is gated,15 resorts in all.

if your looking for fun and games this is an ideal local.

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Occidental Allegro Playa Dorada Jade 14 ~ England

January 2007

The best holiday i have ever been on!!! I am only 14 and loved it.

The rooms weren’t the best but it was livable. There were leaks in the roof and one day we had ants all in our clothes but the problem was sorted very quickly.

The fun club saff are amazing, you can’t get any nicer people. Tony, Joe and Ruben are the best in he world and are the sweetest guys. They try their very best to keep you happy and to get you to join in activities. Join in them it’s a laugh and worth it for those hot guys. All the funclub guys are extremeley sexy and will listen to anything you have to say. You can’t beat them. I cried saying bye to hem all. I would travel all the way back (8 hrs) just to see them!! Without them the hotel wouldn’t be what it is and my holiday would have been dull and boring. Say hi to them for me when you go.

The food’s ok but can get a little bit boring after a while. They say it’s a french buffet one night but the foods exacly the same as the english buffet the night before. It doesn’t vary that much but it is eatable.

I recommend going for chrismas. It is the best christmas i have ever had as i have never been away for christmas before. Santa comes by jet ski and has presents for all the children. They have massive celebrations but these celebrations are on christmas eve which is their christmas day. They have fashion shows etc.

The vendors on the beach aren’t too much of a problem. You just calmy say no thanks and they go away. You get the monkey man walking round shouting ‘ i’ve got the monkey, monkey see monkey do’. You’ll have this going round in your head for days after.

There is also a kids club which i didn’t use so i don’t know much about it. The kids in there looked as if they were having a jolly good time anyway. There is a childrens disco everynight 8-8.30 run by the fun club team. You will have these songs in your head for weeks laer too. The birdy song, agadoo and follow the leader are the ones in my head at the minute.

The activiies keep you occupied all day.There is kayak racing,soccor,tabletennis,archery,pineapple rolling,egg throwing, beer drinking contests, mini olympics which are hilarious, water aerobics with the sexy joe,water polo and much more. These are all run by the fun club team.

The staff are extremely friendly and any you walk past will say hola to you and shake your hand. They are always singing and dancing and chating to you.

You need to go to ocean world!!! It’s about 20mins from the hotel and you book it through the reps. We swam with dolphins and it was amazing. You an swim with dolphins, sharks, touch sea lions and much more. It was fantastic.

I would love to go back especially to see the fun club teams and for of course, the weather which was fab all the time we were there. I definately recommend this hotel and you cannot beat it. All the bad reviews you get for it aren’t true. I can’t really fault it.

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Occidental Allegro Playa Dorada Abe and Maria ~ Canada

October 2006

Hi we just got back from this resort Sept. 30 – Oct. 7:

There are good and bad things to say lets start with the good, The food here is wonderful, for people complaining about the food not being like at home, stay home you are on vacation and the food will not be like at home, there were 7 of us here all adults and we all loved the food.

The staff, most of them are hard working and always happy to see you there were a few that looked to be in a bad mood all the time and never smiled (not that they have alot to smile about) long hours and I’m sure alot of grumpy people.

The resort: This resort is getting dated and in need of some updates real soon we stayed around the corner at Gran Ventana last year and it’s in much better shape then this resort, water went out a few times, A/C was out one day when we got back, Hair drier did not work and it took acouple of days to get it replaced ( a small thing but something people need) we stayed in building 5 after reading a bunch of reviews that 5 and 6 were the newer buildings if that is the case I’d hate to see the older buildings.

Tours: We did horse back riding, deep sea fishing, jeep safari, and half day shopping and cable car tour all worth the money. We book all our tours with Isaira Tours this is the second year we have used them, Martin the owner of the company is a great person who takes alot of pride in his company and his country, you can set up a meeting via email he will take you to his office and show you all his insurance papers and you can see every thing is above board. Here is a link to the website www.isairatours.com you can book trips at the mall or the resort but we find Martin so personal to deal with.

The flight: Now to the worst part of the trip we flew Skyservice out of Toronto this is the first time and the last time we have been with them, air bus 320 is about the most cramped plane I’ve ever been on I am over 6′ foot tall and my legs were so cramped after 4 hours on this plane, and that was the best part, when leaving PP the Skyservice staff there are so slow if you get in the wrong line (like us) 3/4 of the people checked in before us and we were there first, got back to Toronto and found our new suitcase we bought for this trip had both the handles broken off when we went to the counter we were just told OH WELL we do not cover these things we will never fly Skysrevice again if it means not going on Vacation at all we will NEVER use them again. We have flown with alot of airlines and have never been as uncomforable and treated as bad as with as with Skyservice.

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Occidental Allegro Playa Dorada WendyS ~ Lethbridge, Alberta

September 2006

This was the absolut worst vacation ever.

My husband, 2 year old son and myself stayed at the Occidental chain from April4-12 2006. The price was a great deal($3200 round trip for the 3 of us from Calgary) and not knowing at the time of booking a 4 star in D.R. is not the same as what we consider a 4 star here in Canada…If i knew then what I know now I would have paid the extra for an upscale 5 star or a Breezes/Sandals vacation instead.

Anyway- we had a great room in one of the newer complexes, ground level, close to one of the pools.

This was the only good thing about the resort.

The first thing that really bugged me is you had to wear wrist bands the whole time, they are color coded as to what country you are from. EG.Candians wear pink US blue, Portuguese Green etc…..Quite inconveiniant and uncomfortable.

The food was beyond horrific, by day 4 my son refused to even go into the cafeteria- he would start to cry as soon as we got to the doors. There were 3 restaurants you could have 1 complemetary meal per restuarant….those meals were fine, no complaints. But the rest of your meals…are the cafeteria. Scary Scary. We are not picky eaters either. It was just gross. That’s about all I can say. Luckily there was a strip mall down the road that had a pizza hut where we ended up paying for our already 3200 trip, extra to eat. The beaches were very dirty, I never saw our portion of the beach raked or taken care of. You see, its a pile of hotels chained along 1 side of an island…so you share the beach although you can travel down and be on anyone’s section of the beach. The "entertainment" at night was quite racy, definitly NOT for families with young children. Lots of sexual connotation by staff duirng the whole week- very sexist too. And I am not a prudish, women’s libber- I am quite liberal and I found it to be quite offensive and over the top. Besides maybe 2 staff members the rest were quite arrogant, detatched(like I read in another review), very unhelpful and unhappy…….the locals weren’t much better. I heard a rumor they like Americans but not Canadians, which is unusual. I found the majority of our flight(all western canadians) hated the vacation and food as well. The kids club wouldn’t take our son, even for an hour because he wasn’t 4. They wanted $15 USD/hr for babysitting, so we said forget it. And by the attitudes of most I’d hate to thik of a stranger watching him-especially since he cannot talk to tell me if he was mistreated. I would NEVER return to Dominican again- it was a total waste of money.

I highly advise anyone who is going to pay the extra for a 1st class hotel which might make the difference in your stay.

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Occidental Allegro Playa Dorada B B

August 2006

We are back from our vacation in the Dominican republic! I am soooo glad to be back. All in all I would have to say that we did have a great time as a family, and in that sense the vacation was a success.

There were some aspects that were not that great.

First let me explain our hotel complex. Our hotel was situated on a strip of beach with many other huge hotels. All these hotels were situated on a piece of property only accessible for hotel guest, employees and taxis. It was like this large village with even a plaza somewhere in the middle where you could shop. Roads pavement, landscaping all were very exclusive and looked perfectly maintained. There were only two heavily guarded entrances. If and when you did go on excursions and left the ‘village’, it seemed like you entered another world. Disorganized, chaotic, underdeveloped, poor infrastructure and for all appearances with some law but no order.

As for the price of the excursions, totally out of balance with the dynamics of the local economy. You would be asked to pay $4 for a coke at a local stop somewhere. Or the excursion would have a stop at a local eatery (so that you can see how the ‘natives’ live) where you would be overwhelmed by 20 children asking you to buy them a bag of chips with the provision that you do not open the bag of chips (so that they can sell it again). Then if that didn’t work they would start begging, all twenty of them and pointing at your bag and asking if there is nothing in there for them. Or asking you for your watch or you name it. Although it would seem that the economy needs tourism is a source of income, I am not so sure that a majority of the people are getting any better from tourism. It just makes the gap between "the haves" and "have-nots" bigger.

It is one thing to go on a expedition or excursion to a third world country with the objective to learn or write about it, but it is another thing to be constantly confronted with so much poverty and a seemingly hopeless and depressing situation when your intention is to have a fun family vacation. But maybe there are those that can easily shut their eyes and ignore what’s around them and just set out to have fun and ‘watch the natives’ with total disregard or empathy. I couldn’t.

I feel very lucky to live on a tropical island (Curacao, Dutch West Indies) that is fairly well developed and has a people with a fair amount of pride, of course it is a lot easier to be proud when you are not poor.

Now as for the Hotel. Supposedly four stars. Five restaurants, two large pools, Jacuzzi, beach, kids club with several professional animators, three bars where you can drink until you drop. As for the all inclusive part, the food was good not great but definitely good. You had several themes during the weak, Mexican night, lobster night, Dominican night, and so on. But through it all, just in case the theme didn’t suit you, you could eat pizza and all kinds of pasta with all kinds of sauces every night. My kids and I enjoyed the food, there was fresh fruit and salad (my favorite) and pizza and pasta (kids favorite) for our enjoyment. My husband on the other hand prefers a good piece of grilled meat with french fries, and that wasn’t an option. NO FRENCH FRIES. I thought my husband was going to take the first plane back. There was a beach restaurant at the end of the beach that served french fries and pizza but then my children would have to miss out on the great dessert platter and ice cream, and they weren’t willing to do that. So my husband was out voted. But he really didn’t mind because he saw how much the kids loved it. There is one main restaurant, one pizza place, on beach restaurant and you make reservations for the other three specialty restaurants. My advice: don’t bother, they are below average. As for the drinking part, my husband and I don’t really drink ( alcohol), not out of principle, just preference. So we just had coke and 7up most of the time. My husband tried the red wine once, and he said it was good. And I tried the beer (Presidente) and it was really good quality beer. I also tried a margarita cocktail once, but they make all their cocktails with these heavily sweetened juices, so my margarita tasted way too sweet and artificial. Don’t expect to get fresh lime juice in your cocktail! I was immediately cured of having cocktails during my vacation. It was kind of a disappointment because although I’m not a great drinker I did envision myself having a mojito on the beach made with fresh mint. Just an romantic illusion. As for the staff of the hotel; horrible with a few exceptions. They were callous, arrogant, detached, especially the front office, they were down right rude! The information desk personnel were helpful. The cleaning ladies were friendly and helpful.

The room was average, damp. And the pillows smelled awful. As for the trips for which you can make reservations, check if a taxi wont do the same excursion, they usually do for a whole lot less! The only one I would recommend at the activities desk is the one for the amphibious vehicle. Really wild!!! Much better than the ‘funny bike’ excursion.

It is a family resort, which gets fairly busy with local Dominicans during the weekends.

We made the best of it and had a great time just being together. But I don’t think I will ever go back to the Dominican Republic or to Occidental hotel chains. But would I do all inclusive again, yes I think so. But I will have to check and see if they have french fries, lol.

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Occidental Allegro Playa Dorada Donna ~ Stoney Creek, Ontario, Canada

July 2006

We just got back from 1 week at this resort June 23-June 30, we a got a last minute deal from BelAir Travel and we each paid 310.00 for the week, what a bargain, we flew Air transat the pane was large and full, if you can request the 2 seats together at the back of the plane as in the middle it is very samll. The food was a small subway sub and a cookie, it was okay. 15 min to the Resort from the airport, check in was fast and we were off to 5311, nice room big, facing the golf course. The quiet pool was quiet only through the week, on the weekend the local’s come and they are very loud and noisey and don’t care if your there or not, the pool was packed on the weekend, You do not have to get up early to get a lounge chair, but on the weekends you do, when the local’s are there.

The food was okay we only ate at the grille as a a la carte but it was very good and the service was excellent. The buffet was ok, smaller than other resorts but was ok, there is a snack bar by the quiet pool, basic stuff, but what I did not like was a black bird would land on the buffet and nibble away at the food, I found this quite discusting, and no one would shoo it away. The stage show at night was very boring not worth staying up late for. But they did try to involve everyone. What I did not like was time sharing people lying to you, Alberto told us if we went to Flameco Resort just to see it then I would be able to pick from a list of gifts, such as a beach bag/shirt/hat and when we went to look at the resort we were taken up stairs to the time share place and you had to see an hour presentation, then a girl would tell you about becoming a member of the vacation club and getting your lodging very cheap on your next trip but you have to pay for airfare/food/drinks all you get is the room, and the cheapest rate for becoming a member is ten thousand U.S and goes to 30 thousand U.S but you must put 10 percent down and you have 8 years to pay off the rest, is is a scam and when it is time for the gifts you get nothing, and they wanted us to pay for the cab back to our resort. we complained for 2 days and finally we got a small bottle of rum and a size small tee shirt. These people actually work for Occidental Chain, so you can get sucked in very easy.

All in all the resort is very clean and the people very nice, for what we paid it was a great deal, but to pay full price I would not go back, I missed having a mini fridge in the room, Also there is no remote converter in your room but if you ask at the front desk they will give you one, but we tryed 3 and still they did not work, so we had a maintance guy come and get 1 to work, The room s are very sound proof and quiet , the maid did nothing special even though I left a gift and 2.00 very day, 1 day at 5 pm our room still was not made up and we had no sheets on our bed, so our having a nap before dinner did not work out, and twice I had to chase a maid to get towels, I was not too happy about that. But those are small issues and I could live with those problems.

If you get a good deal, go to this resort but do not pay full price, I would not pay more than a thousand dollars canadian for this place. I would be happy to answer any questions you have. donnamuir28@hotmail.com

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Occidental Allegro Playa Dorada Coleen

May 2006

My husband and I just returned from a wonderful week at the Occidental Allegro Playa Dorada. Nearly everything was perfect, and the few problems we encountered were overlooked. After all, you are on vacation and in a foreign country! We have traveled quite extensively in the Caribbean and found this resort to be a delight!

Initially we were scheduled to stay at the Jack Tar resort, but because it had closed down, we switched to the Playa Dorada. Quite frankly, after looking at the Jack Tar and it’s beach, I’m glad we made the switch.

Check-in and check-out were a snap. Edward checked us in and gave us “a wonderful room”, 5309. It had a large private balcony and a nice view of the pool area. The room was adequate, large in size with 2 double beds pushed together. Bathroom was ok, stocked with a few necessities. The only problem was that sometimes there was no hot water. Most times you had to let the water run for quite a while to get it hot. It seemed like such a waste of water to me. I would have also liked a small refrigerator in the room. There was a large ice maker and a water dispenser on the first floor. Yeah, you had to walk down 2 flights of stairs. So what…..after all the food and drink consumed the exercise was needed. Sometimes the water was empty, and rarely the ice was empty, but the snack bar was a short walk away and they always had water and ice available there.

The beach was beautiful. You could walk for miles and still not come to the end. One day we walked all the way to the Iberostar, quite a hike. While we were walking, we would look at the beaches of the surrounding resorts and agreed that our beach was one of the best. Some other resorts had small, hard to access, beaches. In fact, one day we saw a man climbing down a wall to get to the beach at his resort and he tripped over a tree root. Nearly fell on his face. Every day someone would rake the beach and a truck would pick up the sea weed. Yes, there were some dirty spots in the water, and occasionally some trash on the beach but, the tourists were the ones putting them there!! Hello….take care of your surroundings as you would at home! The sand was the hottest I had ever felt. The beach vendors were there every day, but if you said “no thank you” they left you alone. I usually tried to not make eye contact and this seemed to work. I am, however, going to hear “I’ve got the monkey” in my dreams forever LOL.

The food was okay. There was certainly more of a variety than I had seen in any other all inclusive resort. Breakfast had every food imaginable available. We had lunch at the snack bar every day because we didn’t want to waste the day inside eating and having to change out of our bathing suits. The variety in the snack bar was not great, but certainly acceptable, with hamburgers, hot dogs, luncheon meats and the occasional fish-kabobs or pork. We did eat at the ala carte restaurants and found them ok. Did not like the Italian. We both had shrimp and linguine, it looked like Kraft macaroni and cheese with salad shrimp. The dinner buffets were great, always something different and some unusual items. I always try something different to eat each day while on vacation and there was plenty for me to choose from. On Dominican night they had some singers and some fun things going on; one man was squeezing some plant (not sure if bamboo) through a machine with rollers that looked like an old ringer washing machine without the tub. This squeezed some liquid and when he had enough he would let you try it. Delicious and fun to watch.

The bartenders and bars were fine. We tipped $1 every time we would get 2 drinks. It seemed to me that we were in the minority in this tipping practice. The drinks were strong and good, if somewhat inconsistent. We had fun with it, guessing what the drink would taste like this time! Yes, you had to wait a few minutes, they do not move fast like we do in the Northeast US, but we were on vacation and just people watched while we waited. It could be a problem during high season, but we were there in May. The Fun Club personnel seemed to truly try to get people to do activities. Yes, the evening shows were amateurish, but it’s the same way everywhere in an all-inclusive resort. We didn’t have any children with us (we are in our 50’s, and the kids are grown), but saw how much they did with the kids and thought they were trying so hard to make it fun for all ages.

We walked down to the shopping mall 2 times and found it quite interesting there. The prices varied so much it was strange. I nearly bought a pair of amber earrings for $26 in one shop. I went to another and got 2 pairs and a pendant for $39. I just don’t like being hounded by the sales people trying to get you into their shops. Turns me right off. The night we left the resort there were some young girls hanging outside the lobby. Not sure, but believe they may have been prostitutes. Not what you expect to see at a family resort.

Being American we were in the minority. It doesn’t bother me at all, I appreciate diversity. My only problem is with all the cigarette smoke. We live in Mass and you can’t smoke anywhere here. It was all over the place there! We very seldom stayed and sat in the lobby or the bar areas as it was so smoky. I can’t even imagine what the percentage of people with lung cancer must be in Great Britain as I think everyone from there smokes! Maybe I am prejudiced against it, but to see people pushing a baby carriage or holding a child while smoking a cigarette makes me shudder.

The weather was great. I had read the predictions and they seemed to predict rain and more clouds than sun. We had a few showers, mostly after 4:00 in the afternoon. One night it rained, but not too hard to be able to go outside. The rain helped cool off the sand.

I would say that anyone who is interested in the Puerto Plata area would do well to go to the Occidental Allegro Playa Dorada!

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Occidental Allegro Playa Dorada Jenn ~ Vancouver Canada

April 2006

my mom and I went to puerto plata March 22-March 29. It was a fantastic holiday!!!We stayed in building 6 and had a great view of the "quiet" pool. The beach was gorgeous and the ocean was warm. I hear alot of complaints about the vendors, but sure you pay alot of money to go away to enjoy yourself and to relax, but ya the vendors to come right up to you and want to show you their things but you can’t really complain, this is what they do for a living. They’re just doing their job!. The food was good, alot of different things to eat, snack bar was great! I reccomend if you want to do a tour, do the outback safari, it was the best experience ever, Henry and Israel were awsome. If people are looking for the little market down the beach, its just not down the beach its at least a 30 minute walk, if you want some great shopping go out the front of the resort and walk down a couple of blocks and there is a great mall !

I can’t really say one bad thing about this resort, we were a little sketchy cause we heard so many terrible things, but its a beautiful resort with a beautiful beach and the dominican people are so friendly. I would reccomend this resort to anybody.

Thank you

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Occidental Allegro Playa Dorada Jim and Debby ~ Nova Scotia, Canada

April 2006

My wife and I just spent the week of 25 March to 1 April in the Dominican. My brother, his wife and two teenage children were there also but I am sure they will write there own review. We arrived at 10:30 PM on Saturday to warm, light rainy weather. The trip to the hotel was fast and uneventful. Check-in was smooth and the bell boy was right there to take us and our luggage to our room. We were in building #6 and he took us through two other buildings in the complex so that we had only a short run in what was now a down pour to get to our room. Well worth the tip he received. Having spent my entire life in the food service industry, I am 51, my wife will agree that I am not a picky eater but a MAJOR food critic. Had heard and read many horror stories but we were entirely happy with the buffet the entire week. I don’t see how even the most picky eater, as my wife is could not find something to eat that would suit their needs. Remember folks, this is not the food you are used to at home. It is definitely not the way " your mom used to make it" as the saying goes. The staff were friendly and went out ot their way to help you. We ate at the Italian restaurant on Wednesday and the grill on Thursday and the service and food were excellent. Center cut tenderloin beats T-Bone anyday. We ate lunch at the snackbars everyday and there was always fresh cut fries and what people call potato chips was actually made from a local root called casava. The bar servers were some of the most friendly people I have ever met and the Presedente draft was great.

A very clean, well kept resort that is undergoing upgrades to many of its buildings. We had a second floor room with a balcony over looking the golf course. Very quiet and comfortable and a hop skip and jump from the quiet pool and snack bar, beverage bar.

Would recommend this resort and hope to return there ourselves in the not too distant future.

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Occidental Allegro Playa Dorada Steve ~ Canada

March 2006

HI, My wife and I and our three teenage boys(17, 15 and 12) just returned from Dominican Republic. We booked a week with air transat and flew out of Montreal.

Flight: The flight was uneventful, it was the redeye flight so we were very tired when we arrived in DR, however that was expected. Coming back was pretty much the same, the only suggestion is that if you are a large group and want to sit together you need to get to the airport early because the seats are first come first serve. Most people arrive about 2-3 hours before the flight, with a family of five I wanted to sit together so we took a taxi to the DR airport 30 minutes before the bus and we did get seats together.

Arrival at 2 am

Arriving at the DR airport at 2 am was actually very nice. No swarm of porters trying to carry your luggage. The bus ride to the resort was pleasant, the music on the bus was too loud, probably because it was 2 am and I wanted to sleep not party. We arrived at the resort and they were very fast at getting us our rooms. We were off the bus and in our rooms within 20 minutes, and all were asleep by 3 am. I had requested a king size bed in one room and a cot in the other. They gave us adjoining rooms with two beds in each.

Food – There is one major buffet, a snack bar, a pizza place and three al-a-carte restaurants.

Buffet – Don’t go to this resort for the food. The salad and fruit bars are quite nice, there is basic cereal, bran, fruit loops etc. and yogurt. Where they seem to struggle is in preparation of meat. Each day there will be one or type of meat served and left-overs from the days before.

Snack bar – Located at the quiet pool they serve hamburgers, hotdogs, nachos and potatoes. The potatoes were sometimes in the form of uncooked french-fries but usually just potato chips. Our hotel was close to the snack bar so it was convenient but marginally tasty.

Pizza place – the one restaurant where we enjoyed the food, you pick your ingredients and they cook it for you. Its only open late but worth the wait.

A La Carte – As part of the package you get one dinner in each of the three restaurants. We went to the Italian one first. The service was so bad we abandoned the meal before it was done. It may have been that we were a party of five, however they seemed to be very short staffed. The second night we went to the grill. They were out of T-Bone steaks, so we had the tenderloin. The food was ok, however again the service was very bad. Half way through the meal I got up and served water to our table. When I went to sit down several guests at other tables asked If I could serve them water too. I think its reasonable to be served one glass of water per hour. We did not want to abandon yet another meal so we stuck it out. The steak was reasonable but the service still sucked. The third night we went out for Mexican. Much better service and the food was quite good. This time we brought our own drinks and asked for the water early. The good side of the food is that I managed to loose 5 pounds.

Security – Security is a joke, purchase a key for the safe and put everything of value in it. On several occasions I returned to my room to find the door open and no-one around. The maid’s cart was next to the door but there was no maid to be found. On your last day be careful about leaving your packed bags in your room while you eat lunch, several other guests we met had things stolen from their room on the last day while they ate lunch after packing. Because we were on a late flight they locked up our stuff at the front desk. My portable DVD player stopped working on the flight down so I had forgotten that instead of putting it in my carry-on luggage for the return I put it in my checked baggage. It was stolen while in the lock-up so on your last day carry everything of value.

Beach – The beach is the best part of the resort. They rake the swimming beach area each morning so it is clean and there is sand for about 100 meters offshore. The depth is about 10 feet at rope buoys so IMHO it is pretty much perfect for swimming. If you like to snorkel there are several reefs outside the swimming area with a fair amount of fish, although Sosoua beach, which is not far away has much nicer snorkeling, and yes it is close enough to swim out from shore, just a mask and snorkel is all you need. We had water shoes which helped while windsurfing and snorkeling, the waves push you against the reef at times and gently pushing off with your feet is much safer with shoes on, careful not to step on the sea urchins. Snorkeling, windsurfing and sailing is available at no charge although they ask you for 20$ insurance for the week or 5$ per day. Pay the insurance or you will be paying to fix or replace some very old and well used equipment.

Cleanliness – Very clean! enough said

Water – All the bars have water in the fountain machines, bring one water bottle per person. I filled up the five water bottles each morning, enough for brushing teeth and drinking in the room. No charge and very convenient.

Pools – there are two pools, the quiet pool and the noisy pool. The quiet pool is shallow and quite nice, somewhat colder then the ocean but well kept. In the active pool there are several smaller pools including an adult "cold tub" like a hot tub without the hot water. I did not use the pools, I like to swim in the ocean during the day and swim in the pools at night, however the pools close at 6pm so no late night swims, somewhat annoying.

Diving – as a long time diver I wanted the take my kids scuba diving. I purchased a package from the onsite dive club and went out for a dive at Sosoua Beach. Lots of fish, however the dive was more about taking photos of us and making a movie that they try to sell you after. The kids enjoyed it but at $70 US per person its expensive.

Rooms – The rooms were clean and for the most part utilitarian. The bathroom was very basic, somewhat crude tile work but functional.

Cost – We booked it last minute online so it cost roughly $1000.00 CAN per person.

Exit tax – don’t forget to bring $20 USD per person for the export extortion tax.

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Occidental Allegro Playa Dorada Robert

February 2006

We just arrived back from 1 week vacation at this hotel . We did read reviews posted on your site and were a little nervous about some of the comments we read . We believed that Building 5 and 6 were newer and that we should stay there as compared to other buildings.We and the couple that went with us stayed in building 4 room 4104 and 4102 and couldn’t have been happier , room size was good , no musty smell , clean and well maintained and wonderful view of the beach and pool area.

Staff were excellent the buffets were wonderful and the bar tenders looked after you like you were Royalty. One night only we experienced bad service and food at the Mexican Rest. Our only concern now is that we should have stayed 2 weeks , oh well next year.

Since this was our first trip we didn’t know what to expect when we booked side trips , like the Outback Tour. It was great but had we known about the ability to give the schools some supplies we would have done so. Also we could have had things to give to the people who lived along the tour route.We felt bad when our guide gave us all a bottle of pop and 90% of them stood there drinking it in front of the kids , my bottle of Pepsi was donated and the proper burping technique was introduced to the kids, we all laughed even the Mother of the kids. Our guide asked us not to give them any Pesos so we ignored him and did anyway.

Just imagine if out of the 24 people on this tour , they donated even $20.00 each how far that would go to help out.

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Occidental Allegro Playa Dorada Couple Mark (36) and Kirsty (22) ~ England: Leicester

January 2006

We bought package holiday with Thomas Cook (very good deal through a travel counselor) . I have flew with them before and it was awful so I did not expect a lot this time round. But we were checked in quick and the flight was OK. It was tolerable but I wouldn’t recommend it!

HOTEL: We were allocated on arrival so I was petrified after reading the reviews. We ended up at the Playa Dorada Club Hotel and we were the only ones to check in. We got a good rep and so we got a free upgrade. The room was massive although we didn’t really use it. The room was clean and OK. The air conditioning was brilliant. We were in block 2 near the bar and restaurant so not always the quietest. I had ear plugs so take them if you’re a light sleeper.

FOOD: The hotel food was good, with a good selection. We were eating 3 times a day, three course meals (god knows how we didn’t put on weight!). But it does get repetitive slightly. If we were there longer we would have eaten out. The beach bar is very good for snacks e.g. burger and chips.

DRINK: The bar is unsurprisingly rubbish. Cocktails are very strong and in plastic cups. We took thermal mugs but didn’t use them. We stuck to buying our own wine and bottles of presidente.

ENTERTAINMENT: Most nights we bought a nice bottle of decent wine from the plaza (expect to pay £10 and over for a bottle worth £3-4). We then got it chilled and opened at the hotel (for a tip). We then went onto Hemmingway’s. It is fantastic just our cup of tea. Good music and chill at the bar. We didn’t do anything in the hotel so cannot comment on it.

POOL: Pools looked nice and relatively clean but we never used it. Beach is better.

BEACHES: Playa Dorada beach is OK not the white powder sand and turquoise sea but I knew that already (from other reviews).

Sosua beach is a must. Fantastic. Shame all the coral reef is dying. I felt guilty going in. We got a taxi there for the day and we swam from the beach to the coral reef which wasn’t too difficult but not for the too faint hearted. There’s lovely fish to see but as I said the coral is dying (I am a environmental consultant). Try the cocktails (pina colada) as you get the pineapple, its fab!

THINGS TO DO: Mount Isabella and the cable car IS A MUST. Fantastic views and a lovely experience. Catamaran trip was brilliant with snorkeling around Sosua and all inclusive on boat. We booked with Thomas Cook and very glad if you see the state of the other boats……. That set us back 80 US each.

We booked the waterfall and safari trip in the plaza for 34 US dollars each and well worth it. We had no idea what the day would entail. The safari bit was good but don’t feel too sorry for the kids running behind the trucks. Be warned – they couldn’t give a stuff about pens, paper, etc all they want is cash and sweets. We were told by other tourists they saw the kids cashing in stationary to a vendor for cash! Once the trucks are finished the kids get changed out of their tattered clothes and have decent stuff! I am just explaining what we saw. I have no doubt in more rural areas kids are genuine. We went onto are 27 waterfalls of which 7 can be climbed up by the public. You get the help of a professional to get up them (give a good tip). We both go to the gym and are very fit and we found it extreme! You get to dive off waterfalls and slide down them. But do think about it as I reckon people must get broken bones and stuff. We had lots of bruises.

WEATHER: I have to say it was cloudy some of the days (xmas day). One day it rained most of day but we knew this can happen so we had a plan of visiting Puerto Plata in taxi, visiting Amber Museum, rum factory, Fort Felipe etc. So to be honest it didn’t ruin the day. The rest was lovely and hot and we got good tans.

PEOPLE: Generally nice but be careful of people trying to sell timeshares. A few people we met were sucked in and wasted hours. It’s the same anywhere, all they want is your cash. We tipped the maid, bar staff etc just 50 pesos or a dollar or two. One guy who give us a tour around Mount Isabella botanical gardens was counting his tip as Mark was shaking his hand. We gave 5 US and he really pushed for more. I had to get mad and tell him we didn’t have anymore cash on us. It really annoys me.

TRANSPORT: We just used the Playa Dorada taxis and they do charge through the nose. I just don’t believe their spiel about 50 kids and no food to feed them. They charge more for taxis than over here and I am sorry but its ridiclous. But we did feel safer and it was easier.

MOZZIES: Mark got bitten a few times. I did not. We used all the gear. DEET 95% is recommended. I saw people who were virtually eaten alive. So just cover up. We took anti malarial tablets as well.

We recommend Dominican but if it wasn’t for the such cheap deal and we had more money (we were lucky to afford the carribbean at xmas) we would have went to the South for the more beautiful beaches. But that’s what I love. So the Seyscelles for us this JUNE! We may go back but to the South but theres too many places to explore first. I hope we have helped how all the other reviews we read helped us.

However I think it’s the same in most hotels you get very strong alcoholic drinks in plastic cups. The beer is watered down and the wine is awful. Now if you just want to get drunk then you will be fine but for us its more about enjoying the drinks rather than getting drunk. To be fair, you can’t expect perfect drinks as people consume so much the hotel wouldn’t be able to afford to run! So they use the really cheap stuff that I find very difficult for anyone to say is enjoyable. But that’s just our opinion. We recommend Hemmingway’s bar for ok priced drinks, the atmosphere is fab.

The hotel bar was noisy xmas eve with the gala meal and was open til 4am and kept me awake! But normal nights it finishes about 11pm so I would say you need to look elsewhere for entertainment unless you just want to sit in your own company every night.

We didn’t come across any locals at our hotel, but then again there wasn’t anything really to encourage them on (the drink isn’t the best and the nightlife consists of really cheesy music and kids dancing. Not our cup of tea! Any questions or need any info email me on ka.greggs@tiscali.co.uk

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Occidental Allegro Playa Dorada Diane & Bill ~ Nova Scotia

January 2006

Spent 2 wonderful weeks at the Allegro Resort. We have been to Cuba, Mexico and DR and love each location, however, DR has become our regular vacation spot because it is the only Caribbean country we can fly direct to from Halifax (during Christmas & New Year.) I had read the reviews on Debbies and could not pass up the great price our agent quoted-so we grabbed it!

We only had 1 day of rain and you can’t complain about that! We had the expectations of an older 4*, so I had in mind to expect 3*. I was pleasantly surprised in all aspects…from our oceanview room in bldg. 4 to the service and terrific staff, food, activities and overall ambiance. Playa Dorada Beach is a wonderful beach for walking, which we did everyday. I know some people complain about the vendors, but we really don’t mind them at all – they lend some local culture to an otherwise "tourist crowded beach". We made friends with a few of them and never felt pressured or bothered to buy their wares.

Hotel staff we very friendly and service at the buffet was very good, we appreciated the long hours they work.

Room was a good size, clean & comfortable. Bathroom was spacious with lots of good water pressure and hot water. Nice large closets (for those of us who still pack too many clothes.) We went on a 3 hour dune buggy ride (booked thru C & R Tours, "Fast Eddy" at the Plaza) Got a little concerned when he told us the other tourists had cancelled and gone to Oceanworld instead. However, we paid our money $30us each and Franklyn gave us a private tour around the countryside – just us. It was enjoyable, but the guide kept stopping at too many villages (I suspect for us to spend our $) and we never got to see the waterfalls that we were led to believe we would.) Lesson learned and had a good time anyway.

Overall , we had no compaints and had a very relaxing vacation – just what we were looking for. We have decided to go back to this resort next Christmas and bring some friends with us.

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Occidental Allegro Playa Dorada Nigel(51) & Gill (younger than Nigel)

December 2005

Our first time together in Dominican and we had a thoroughly enjoyable time, we went for sun and a rest and thats what we got.

The journey out was good (book leg room you will need it).

On arrival we found our bus quickly even without the help of one of the many porters. Check in was efficient although any locals checking in at the same time will be served first.

The room was spacious, clean and well presented. The air conditioning was a god send, it keeps the room wonderfully cool and kills the mossies. The towels were changed daily and the bed linnen regularlly. We were in block 5 overlooking the pool having been to the evening entertainment Im glad we didnt go for sea view as these romms overlook the bar and stage. The showers were hot and shower gell and shampoo etc were supplied, the hair dryer was very good.

The pool was cleaned daily as were the paths and surrounding areas of the pool.

The food was varied and well presented but be prepared to be adventurous dont expect chips with everything. Thr Resteruants were variable. The pizza place the Italian and the Mexican were all very good however the steak house was overcrowded (trying to fit to many tables in) and the food was poor. We trried just about everything to eat and no sign of gippy tummies at all. Dont drink the local water and all will be fine.

Drinks were plentiful and there were no occassions when we had to queue for drinks for any length of time. The staff in the main dining room were very very efficient, however if you both go to the sweet bar at the same time dont be surprised if your table is cleared when you return to it.

The weather was hot. In the mornings it was hot and this is the best time to sunbathe, we had 3 evenings of rain while we were there and boy does it rain. Get a safe key for your room it is worth every penny of the $44 you have to pay for the peace of mind. All in all we would recommend the hotel as a 3* hotel and the only downside was they dont enforce the pool rules regarding sunbed saving and there are towles on beds sometimes all day from 7am onwards, inflatables in the pool although not allowed sometimes there were as many as 7 at any 1 time. And finally weekends the locals arrive and litterally take over with no regard for other guests and they have no concept of queueing anywhere and will happily push in front of you for a drink or in the dining room. Thanks to the staff there we spent 2 very happy and relaxing weeks at The Allegro Playa Dorada just what the doctor ordered

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